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UEA’s Student Newspaper

Issue 289 • Free • Tuesday 19 November

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Inside...

Calls to end University’s links to the fossil fuel industry

An evening with Tony Benn We spent some time with the veteran politician Features P. 12

Fantastic plastic We look at Debenhams new size 16 mannequins Comment P. 15

Flipping great Read our best Breakfast recipies to get you through winter lectures! Lifestyle P. 20

Sophie Witts Deputy Editor The Union of UEA Students (UUEAS) has submitted an open letter to the University calling for an end to UEA’s investment in the fossil fuel industry. According to a Freedom of Information request, the University has over £130,000 invested in fossil fuel extraction companies, including £37,580 in BHP Billiton, £58,683 in Shell and £36,199 in Rio Tinto, despite UEA’s claim to be “an exemplary low carbon campus”. Writing on the UUEAS blog, Benjamin Brown of the Fossil Free UEA group explained that “climate change is the prime motivation for this campaign, but it’s worth mentioning that the companies that UEA invests in – Shell, BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto – all have dubious track records on human rights and are engaged in some the most destructive projects in the world today, including coal mining in Indonesia and

Mozambique, the Canadian tar sands and Arctic oil drilling. According to the IPCC, 80% of fossil fuel reserves must be left in the ground if we are to avert a two degree temperature rise, which would trigger catastrophic climate change. The fossil fuel industry’s business plan is to burn five times more carbon dioxide than scientists say we can safely emit and still keep global warming below the 2°C tipping point.” The Union believes that the nature of the investments is at odds with the university’s position at the forefront of research in to climate science, as well as the UUEAS Ethical Investment policy. The move comes as part of an international campaign, Fossil Free, which has begun divestment campaigns at over 300 universities across Europe and North America. It is estimated that UK institutions hold £5 billion of endowment funds in fossil fuels, which equates to £2000 per student. Campaigns have sprung up at 20 UK

universities, with the University of Surrey being the first to transfer funds from two unnamed fossil fuel companies to a company focusing on cleaner renewable energy. Union Environment Officer Emma Silk told Concrete, “This is such an empowering campaign. We are part of a global fossil free movement that has been described as the biggest threat to the fossil fuel industry, and that’s incredible. Divesting from fossil fuels makes a stand against the firms that put profit above all else and show no consideration for the planet or the people on it. We have a real chance to show fossil fuel firms we want no part in their environmental destruction and human rights abuses.” When contacted for a comment, the University press office said, “The University is aware of the concerns expressed by members of the UUEAS about this issue. The matter will be discussed at a forthcoming meeting of the Executive Team.”


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concrete.editor@uea.ac.uk

Editorial

Editor-in-chief | Sidonie ChafferMelly concrete.editor@uea.ac.uk Deputy Editor | Sophie Witts concrete.president@uea.ac.uk Online Editor | Billy Sexton concrete.online@uea.ac.uk Deputy Online Editor | Amelia

Marchington concrete.online@uea.ac.uk News | Andrew Ansell & Lara-Jayne Ellice concrete.news@uea.ac.uk Comment | Zoë Jones concrete.comment@uea.ac.uk Global | Ella Gilbert concrete.global@uea.ac.uk Features | Bridie Wilkinson concrete.features@uea.ac.uk Environment | Peter Sheehan concrete.environment@uea.ac.uk Science & Tech | Dominic Burchnall concrete.science@uea.ac.uk Travel | Niyonu Agana-Burke concrete.travel@uea.ac.uk Lifestyle | Lydia Clifton concrete.lifestyle@uea.ac.uk Sport | Charlie Savage & Will Medlock concrete.sport@hotmail.co.uk Copy Editors | Stephenie Naulls & Lucy Morris concretecopyeditors@gmail.com Chief Photographers | Jacob Roberts-Kendall & Will Cockram concrete.photography@uea.ac.uk

Issue 289

Contributors

News | Sophie Witts, Geraldine Scott, Alice Rodgers, Lucy Palfreeman, James Mills, Sofie Cacoyannis, Theodore Antoniou-Phillips, Andrew Ansell, Ffion Jones, Lara Ellice, Elliot Folan Comment | Sophie Jackson, Dian Atamyanov, Harry Mason, Rosie Yates, Olivia Grosvenor, Geri Scott Global | Josh Chapman, Ella Gilbert Features | Steffan Smith, Daniel Falvey Environment | James Mills, Jacob Beebe, Ellen Coquio Science & Tech | Leo Kellock, Mabon Ellis, Chloe Moore Travel | Laura Crocket, Georgia Tomlinson-Spence, Florrie Harris-Scott Lifestyle | Emily Fedorowycz, Holly Wade, Beth Saward, Anna Walker, Ella Shap, Becca Godfry Sport | Charlie Savage, Will Temple, Holly Wade, Will Medlock, Becki Edwards, Gabriel Inch Proofreaders | Rebecca Hedger, Chris Freeman, Hattie Sambrook, Fiona Brooks, Calyssa Erb, Stephenie Naulls, Lucy Morris

Win! Win! Win! Win a hot chocolate by telling us what the drink is also known as!

Exam feedback is here! Last year, Exam Feedback topped the priority campaigns poll, outstripping the other campaigns with 5,857 votes! On the back of this, the university agreed to provide feedback for all undergraduate exams for those not in their final year or doing a foundation year. We know that in order to improve your exam performance you need feedback, and without it it’s hard to do better in your exams. Although there is no requirement for individualised feedback to be provided, we know

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that feedback is important to ensure you know what you’re doing well and where you could improve. So make sure you ask your module convener for feedback if you haven’t already. THEN let us know what you thought of it and how it could be improved by emailing union. academic@uea.ac.uk We have lobbied the university and now we need YOU to feedback to us so we can tell them what you think and campaign for even better feedback for all.

Get ready for Home Run!

It’s that time of year again where housing starts being mentioned. Fortunately the Union Advice Centre in conjunction with Home Run and Street Law are here to help. They will be hosting information stalls in the Hive on the 26 and 28 November and in the library on the 27 November from 11:30-14:00. So come along and ask fellow students as many questions as you like, and remember there is no such thing as a stupid

question! The Union Advice Centre is also running a Q+A session on 26 November in the LCR from 17:30 - 18:30. This is a good opportunity for you to pick the brains of the Union Advice Centre Staff. For more information go to http://217.199.187.57/ ueastudent.com/ or call into the Advice Centre, open MonFri 9-5 (Wed 11-5). Tel 01603593463 or email; advicecentre@ uea.ac.uk

Want to improve your academic writing? Every year the Royal Literary Fund provides UEA with professional writers to help students with their writing. Whether you’re having trouble with grammar, punctuation, planning, structure or any other aspect of your writing, the RLF Fellows will be able to help you during a one-to-one session. The service is free and confidential and is open to students in all schools and departments. There is no sharing of information between the RLF Fellows and students’ tutors or seminar leaders. Many students find that not only do

Tweet of the Week “Listening to @ Livewire1350 in Concrete Office in honour in celebration of last nights awesome social #mediacrawl” @stepheniejayne

they gain confidence in their writing abilities but that they also achieve higher marks. This year’s Royal Literary Fund Fellows are playwright Sian Evans and non-fiction author Keith Tutt. Sian has sessions on Mondays and Tuesdays and Keith offers times on Thursdays. RLF sessions are only available during term times. You can sign up for a session on the board outside the Fellows Office at 2.58 in Arts 2. You can also contact Sian at Sian.Evans@ uea.ac.uk and Keith at K.Tutt@ uea.ac.uk.

Contact Us Union House University of East Anglia Norwich NR4 7TJ 01603 593 466 www.concrete-online.co.uk www.concblog.wordpress.com Editorial inquiries / complaints concrete.editor@uea.ac.uk concrete.venue@uea.ac.uk Got a story? concrete.news@uea.ac.uk

Concrete welcomes all letters and emails, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Letters should be addressed to the editor-in-chief, and include contact details. All emails should be sent to concrete.editor@uea.ac.uk. We will consider anonymous publication, and reserve the right to edit for length and clarity. Anonymous article submissions are permitted. Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the newspaper. No part of this newspaper may be reproduced through any means without the express permission of the editor, Sidonie Chaffer-Melly. Published by UUEAS Concrete Society ©2013 Concrete BMc ISSN 1351-2773


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At Union Ignore Russell Brand, voters told Council

the young and the less affluent – who do not vote”. “This explains why the Government felt able to scrap policies that benefit the young, such as the educational maintenance allowance, while protecting

Geraldine Scott News Reporter

Boycott of Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines taken to referendum

The much-debated question of whether Robin Thicke’s song Blurred Lines should be banned from being played on campus has been taken to referendum. Rachel Knott, Women’s Officer, has commented: “‘Hopefully UEA students will join the 20 other student unions in recognising that women students’ right to feel safe in Union premises should not take precedence over anyone’s right to listen to a catchy song” The referendum will be held on the week beginning November 25th. More information is available on ueastudentblog.wordpress.com

New research from the Institute for Public Policy Research, IPPR, found that those who do not vote are more likely to face public spending cuts and a reduction in household income. This is due to political parties being more likely to appease those who turn up at the ballot box than those who do not. This, the IPPR says, will then lead to a “vicious cycle of dissatisfaction”. Notable figures such as Russell Brand and Jeremy Paxman have recently expressed political apathy, with Brand stating he could not “be arsed” to vote. The report’s co-author, Guy Lodge, said: “Russell Brand is wrong when he says voting changes nothing. Political parties have no real incentive to pay attention to those groups in society – often

“Political parties have no real incentive to pay attention to those groups in society who do not vote” benefits for the elderly. It is only by voting that people get a chance to have their voice heard.” Despite this, the gap between groups who do and do not vote has been rising in recent years. In 2010, only 44% of 18 - 24 year olds voted, whilst 76% of those aged 65 and over turned out at the ballot box. This gap of 32% has increased since 1970 when it was only 18%.

Revealed: the homed beggars of Norwich

Provision for Halal & Kosher food backed Union Council have decided to explore the possibility of offering halal and kosher food in Union outlets. Bintu Foday, Community and Student Rights Officer said: “Discrimination can come in many forms, and this motion passing will help us to ensure we can eradicate it in the way food is provided on campus. This is a real example of Union Council working to meet the needs of the full diversity of our members”

Alcohol to be prohibted from future meetings After it was discovered that councillors had been consuming alcohol whilst Council was in session, the decision has been taken to ban alcohol consumption in future meetings. Liam McCafferty, Chair of Council, said: “Following a break at the union council meeting on 7 November a number of councillors brought alcohol into the meeting. Given the number of members that expressed discomfort at this situation we will simply prohibit this at all future meetings”

Long term cuts to higher education expected Lucy Palfreeman News Reporter

Photo: Bill Smith Alice Rodgers News Reporter Police have warned members of the public not to give money to beggars in Norwich as most of them are not homeless and may even be on benefits. People posing as beggars in the streets of Norwich, most of whom are known to be homed, can make up to £150 per day. Some even travel in from areas such as Cambridge in order to beg in Norwich, and have been seen begging on London Street, Dove Street and Prince of Wales Road. Operation Octane, a one day crackdown aimed at tackling this problem, was launched in these areas. Plain clothes police officers attempted to catch 30 or so known offenders in the

act, who were then either arrested or given a warning by uniformed officers. However, some officers seen carrying out Operation Octane have been accused of “picking on the homeless”. Inspector Money, who led Operation Octane, has urged people not to give money to people begging in Norwich as it may be used to feed their addictions to drugs or alcohol. “Giving money does not help these people. The long-term aim is for them to get the help and get them to the people who can help.” Norwich City Council has set up an alternative giving campaign and tells the public that if they want to help the homeless they should redirect their money to charities that do so.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies, the IFS, predicts cuts will continue to hit University funding towards maintenance grants and places after the next election. The IFS has looked at higher education funding up to 2017-18, with cuts expected to continue up to this date. The IFS has five scenarios for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills budget, which funds higher education. However, if the NHS, schools and overseas budgets continue to be protected, cuts to the BIS could range from 11.1% to 24.7%. Proposed methods to tackle the funding cut consist of reducing student numbers by 3% a year from 2014- 2015, abolishing the remaining teaching grant for high cost subjects such as Medicine, and changing the threshold in awarding maintenance grants to students with parents on a low income. The director of the Oxford Centre for Higher Education Policy Studies, David Palfreyman, warned the government “unless you input some new money you’ve got some nasty decisions to make”. However, the professor noted that in comparison to cuts made to Health services “people don’t die” as a result of education cuts.


4 News A r o u n d £100 million awarded to UEA to Norfolk conduct Enviromental research concrete.news@uea.ac.uk

Increased funding for maternity services Maternity services in the East of England received a four per cent increase in funding last year, latest figures show. Elsewhere, five other regions in the country saw their financial support for maternity services fall in 2012/13. According to The Royal College of Midwives (RCM), the ratio of midwives to the number of births in the region is greater than the national average. The group claimed that spending needed to reflect the birth rate which is at a 40 year high. Cathy Warwick, the RCM’s chief executive, said: “There is not one midwife practising today who has seen this level of births and demands on maternity services. Health bosses are cutting spending blindly and we have yet to see the impact of this on staff numbers and on the care women are receiving”.

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James Mills News Reporter The University of East Anglia has been awarded a share of £100 million by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) for its bid as part of the ‘Environment East’ (EnvEast) partnership between the environmental departments of the Universities of East Anglia, Essex and Kent. The money will fund 60 PhD students in carrying out collaborative research across

topics ranging from climate change and biodiversity loss to natural hazards such as volcanic eruptions and earthquakes, promoting knowledge-sharing between the universities and creating a rich training environment for students. The director of EnvEast, UEA Environmental Sciences professor Bill Sturges, commented: “This is an exciting opportunity to bring together worldclass expertise from a complementary set of research organisations to train scientists capable of making outstanding contributions to their discipline and able

to apply their knowledge to the challenges facing the UK economy, the quality of life for its citizens, and the state of the global environment.” The funding will cover tuition fees, maintenance, professional development opportunities, and research costs for several clearly defined strategically important research areas. With advertising for student applications commencing in November 2013 on the UEA website, the first successful students to benefit from the award will begin their 3.5 year-long PhD studies in October 2014.

New teacher training centre announced The co-ordination of a Norfolk academy chain, two private schools and a leading state school has resulted in the creation of a new centre to train teachers in Norfolk, due to open at the start of the next academic year. Trainees will be sent out to schools for the majority of their year-long course, with one day a week the centre. The Government’s School Direct teacher training initiative sees trainee teachers spend more time directly in the classroom as opposed to trainees gaining a Post-Graduate Certificate in Education, awarded by universities such as the University of East Anglia. Dick Palmer, group chief executive of the Transforming Education in Norfolk Group, said: “The Norfolk Teacher Training Centre is a really important development that will enable TEN Group and our partners to draw on our considerable collective experience and expertise to develop the next generation of talented teachers”.

Students expect to earn over £100,000 by age 40 Sofie Cacoyannis News Reporter An online survey of over 1000 students conducted by the private banking firm SG Hambros has revealed that todays young adults expect to earn a salary of more than £100,000 by the age of 40, despite the average UK salary being around £27,000. They also expect to earn a starting salary averaging £23,980 after graduation; predicting their expected post-university income to quadruple less than twenty years after graduation.

Geographical variance was evident in the results regarding how much students estimated they will earn. Those living in Scotland estimated they will be earning on average £76,739 by the time they are 40. In London however, students estimated they will be on £170,603 at 40. In spite of their high expectations, 77% of students listed “working in an enjoyable and interesting job” as their top financial priority, making it the most popular answer ahead of ‘having a wellpaid job’, which was the third main priority at 55%, after ‘buying a property’ which came in second at 61%. Nearly 40% of the students who

completed the survey said they would save as much as possible, nonetheless, only 9% would save into a pension, making it the financial priority with the lowest outcome. However, by 2017, all employers will be automatically enrolled into pension schemes which may result in a change of priorities as the next generation of graduates start to plan ahead. Christine Ross of SGPB Hambros said: “In a way, it is not surprising that almost a quarter of young adults prioritise buying a car, yet it’s worrying that only one in ten prioritise saving into a private pension scheme.”


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Motion to repeal ‘Bedroom tax’ falls Theodore Antoniou-Phillips News Reporter

On 12 November a motion tabled in the House of Commons by Labour ministers to immediately end the spare room subsidy was defeated by 26 votes, with 252 to 226. The spare room subsidy, dubbed as the ‘bedroom tax’ by Labour, cuts housing benefit by 14 per cent for those deemed to have a ‘spare’ bedroom. Some have claimed that the tax is arguably the coalition’s most controversial legislation, with 96% of those affected having no smaller council properties to move into, and controversially pensioners are exempt. It has been suggested that this move is politically motivated, with the Conservatives more worried about the older vote. However, the government describes the move as removing a spare room subsidy and believes it will save the taxpayer around £500m. Labour ministers pointed out Around 400,000 people who are affected by the tax are disabled who need the extra room to store vitally important equipment to be able to function in day to day life. They also criticised the fact that the Work and Pensions Secretary Ian Duncan Smith was absent from the vote. Steve Webb, the Lib Dem pensions minister, standing in for the work and pensions secretary said that social property was available for families to move into, saying he was aware of the availability of 56,000 onebedroom properties. A handful of Liberal Democrat MPs abstained from voting including Norwich

South’s Lib Dem MP Simon Wright. Mr Wright commented that “Labour have no proposals to deal with the problem of overcrowding. Their term in office ended with 400,000 fewer social homes than when they entered government [...] The Coalition is reversing this trend, and will have built 170,000 new houses

“We need to encourage the fairest and most efficient use of the limited housing stock we have” by 2015. In the meantime, we need to encourage the fairest and most efficient use of the limited housing stock we have – and subsidising empty rooms for some people, while so many other families are in need of more bedrooms and living in overcrowding, does not help.” Clive Lewis, Labour Parliamentary candidate for the Norwich South stated that the bedroom tax is a “Shameful piece of legislation and I think it epitomises everything that is wrong with this coalition government.” Mr Lewis also thought it was “worthy of note” that despite 26,000 Norwich City residences being affected, “City Council has not evicted one single person” and that the Labour run council is “trying to protect the most vulnerable.” He also said that Simon Wright’s position was “reprehensible.”

We Are Norwich to hold free music and poetry event Ffion Jones News Reporter The anti-racist coalition ‘We Are Norwich’ will be hosting a free music and poetry event later this month. The group formed in November 2012 in opposition to the first ever march of the English Defence League in Norwich, in which they successfully outnumbered the far-right group 6:1. The campaign was backed by over 20 local organisations, including the Union of UEA Students, Norwich Pride and Chapelfield Mosque. A year on, spokesman Nick O’Brien says that,

“people have expressed a desire to keep We Are Norwich going… to do all we can to prove that all kinds of people are welcomed here.” The evening will feature performances by poet and spoken word artist Hollie McNish, and local music acts the Piratones, Dandelion and the Rockets, and Banana Moon. The event will take place at the Blueberry Music House in Cowgate, close to Anglia Square, on Thursday 28 November from 7pm. There is no attendance charge for the evening, but donations will be accepted.

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Vince Cable reveals possibility of a postgraduate loan system Andrew Ansell News Editor Speaking to the Sutton Trust, the Business Secretary Vince Cable revealed that the Government has entered into negotiation with banks to provide a loan system for postgraduates. Mr Cable acknowledged that at present no equivalent of the undergraduate loan system exists for postgraduates, forcing the majority of postgraduates to ‘self-finance’. According to the recently disbanded 1994 Group, 80 per cent of postgraduate students were privately funded. Mr Cable said: “We do recognise that this is a significant barrier to social mobility”. Although, he added: “There’s not a great deal we can do about it given the limited funding we have.” He disclosed that “David Willetts, the Minister for Universities and Science, is meeting banks to try to devise a loans

scheme that will help people progress through postgraduate education”. The postgraduate loan system detailed by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) displayed that a postgraduate loan system does not have to come at a great expense to the state, provided the repayment threshold is lower than that for undergraduates. Under their proposals a £10,000 loan would be repaid at a rate of nine per cent of earnings between £15,000 and £21,000.

UCAS warns of “worrying” university gender gap Lara Ellice News Editor The head of UCAS has warned that women are overtaking men in gaining university places, and that there is a “very worrying” gender gap. UCAS has stated that the gender gap could prove a greater problem than the issue in access to university between students of rich and poor families. Chief Executive of UCAS, Mary Curnock Cook, has said that women are a third more likely to obtain a place at university than men. She recently warned that the gap will continue to grow over the next decade. Mrs Curnock Cook has said that universities will have to treat boys as an under-represented group. She also said that the “very worrying difference between application rates for men and women” should be treated as an “important

: widening participation issue”. She went on to say: “Women are a third more likely to apply for higher education. “In fact, our report last year showed we’ve got to the stage where more women are entering higher education than men are applying and the gap is getting wider. Universities will need to consider more about the difference between men and women than socio-economic background”. “I continue to think that is an issue that’s not getting enough air time in the policy debate. It’s a really important factor to keep an eye on.”


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News Former UEA Professor’s UEA breast surgery course wins major award digital art exhibition hits Norwich art scene concrete.news@uea.ac.uk

Lara Ellice News Editor The University of East Anglia’s online course in breast surgery has been named the UK’s best online distance learning programme. The Oncoplastic Breast Surgery Masters degree won the E-Learning Award 2013, beating 200 other finalists. The degree, launched in 2011, was the first in the UK, and the highest recognised qualification of its kind in the world to qualify surgeons in the surgery. Oncoplastic breast surgery combines the surgical removal of breast cancer tissue with breast reconstruction surgery, in one operation. This type of surgery is integral to a patient’s recovery. The course combines e-learning and local mentoring and skills assessment. It was developed by Professor Jerome Pareira and Professor Sam Leinster at UEA’s Norwich Medical School, in partnership with James Paget University Hospitals (JPUH). Prof Jerome Pereira, Course Director, Consultant Breast Surgeon at JPUH and Honorary Professor of Surgery at UEA, commented on the prize: “I’m absolutely delighted that this course has been recognised with this award, as our programmes are now proving to be the solution to training

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limitations imposed on doctors due to the European Working Time Directive. I am grateful to my colleague Prof Sam Leinster, an internationally acclaimed medical educationalist who has played a key-role in developing these distance learning programmes.” Andrew Simpson, the E-learning

“Our virtual learning environment has proven to be a very effective tool to train the next generation of surgeons to the high standards they require” Technologist who developed the online course said: “Our virtual learning environment has proven to be a very effective tool to train the next generation of surgeons to the high standards they require. These mature students engage extremely well online and are able to apply their new knowledge to their professional work.” Since its launch, 62 students have enrolled on the course, and the first to study it will be graduating later this year.

Want to wwrite for News? Email Andrew and Lara at: concrete.news@uea.ac.uk

Photo: EDP Ffion Jones News Reporter A former UEA American Studies professor has had his digital artwork exhibited at Norwich Cathedral. Howard Temperley, 80, creates computer-drawn works by digitally manipulating photographs taken in and around Norwich. He seeks to capture the essence of Norfolk by depicting its landscapes, seascapes and people in a refreshing new medium.

In recent years several artists have found experimenting with the possibilities of digital art rewarding, adopting technology in their artistic process. Mr Temperley, who stumbled upon the art form by accident, said the process creates “cutting edge stuff”, and that “this is a new kind of art. It is digital work for a digital age.” The exhibition was sponsored by UEA as part of its 50th anniversary celebrations, and featured a vibrant selection of contemporary artworks.

Labour candidates call for energy price freeze Elliot Folan News Reporter Norwich’s Labour candidates have collected 300 petition signatures calling for an energy price freeze as part of a wider Party campaign. The petition endorses a proposal by Labour leader Ed Milliband which would see energy prices frozen for 20 months if Labour wins the 2015 general election. Clive Lewis, Labour candidate for Norwich South, and Jessica Asato, Labour candidate for Norwich North, will present their petition to David Cameron on 1 December. Milliband told his party’s conference: “The [energy] system is broken and we’re

going to fix it. [The price freeze] will benefit millions of families…That’s what I mean by a government that fights for you.” Labour says its policy will save families £120 a year. However, Simon Wright, Liberal Democrat MP for Norwich South, argued: “The honest way of reducing bills is to help people switch energy deals, insulate their homes and promote competition...Labour’s policy is superficially attractive, but energy companies will simply whack up prices before the freeze starts and whack them up again when it ends”. The Green Party argues that energy distribution should be taken under government control instead and that locally owned renewable energy should be encouraged.


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Life in plastic, it’s fantastic Sophie Jackson Comment Writer @Sophlynne Size 16 is not plus-sized. Apparently this is news to a lot of people. With the news that Debenhams are now displaying size 16 mannequins in store windows, the initial response was to congratulate the company for representing plus-sized bodies. Debenhams has not marketed this campaign as such, but has focused instead on the opportunity to support body acceptance amongst its shoppers. Size 16 is the British average, contrary to representations of body shapes and sizes in high street stores and of course in the fashion industry as a whole. It wasn’t long before Debenhams was faced with criticism, as the new mannequins are not as radical as they sound. They may be larger, but the body shapes have not changed. The new mannequins still have flat stomachs, slim waists, and

disproportionately large, perky breasts. Debenhams is challenging the status quo, but being cautious about it. The necessity of a campaign like this one is obvious. Go into any high street store, and you’ll find women squeezing into uncomfortable clothes just so they can say they wear a particular size. The lower the number, the better. As Jo Swinson, an Equalities Minister put it, “it’s as if there’s only one way of being beautiful”. The message currently given by high street stores is that thin is best, and if you don’t fit into the category of ‘thin’ you should be trying your hardest to do so. The high street’s standard size eight mannequins are a reminder of what women should be aiming for, rather than a true illustration of how most women really look. With this in mind, Debenhams’ campaign is exciting progress, as it could be the beginning of more realistic representation of all types of bodies beyond the restrictive norm. The campaign is not perfect, but it is an improvement. The introduction of the size 16 mannequins also follows

an ‘inclusivity campaign’ in April of this year, where Debenhams clothes were modelled by a Paralympian athlete, an amputee, a size 18 model, and several models aged 40-70. These are the kind of changes people need from the fashion industry. Aside from the obvious moral sense, including more diverse bodies in fashion also makes financial sense. A study conducted by Dr Ben Barry found that women were three times more likely to buy clothing when the models were their size. This is unsurprising, as surely people will want to spend money on something that makes them feel good, rather than something that makes them feel shamed and excluded? As soon as high street stores realise the potential of utilising body acceptance rather than making women fearful of their bodies, Debenhams will not be alone. So far, no other high street store has come forward in support of Debenhams. Marks & Spencer told the Guardian that their use of size 10 mannequins instead of the typical size eight is a “responsible approach”

Photo: The Mirror to the issue. Most other retailers have remained neutral. Nonetheless, there is hope for average-sized shoppers in Britain. There is nothing wrong with size eight or 10 mannequins – obviously these do represent some bodies – but including more varied body types is only sensible. The time for forcing people to conform to “one way of being beautiful” should end, and Debenhams is helping to bring that into action.

The ‘light of transparency’ Remember, remember, the spirit of Movember on lobbying Dian Atamyanov Comment Writer @Dragoonfire Introduced in July this year, the Lobbying Bill – dubbed the ‘gagging bill’ by some members of parliament – is a transgression on civil rights that seeks out to constrict the freedom of third party campaigners a full year before elections. The Transparency of Lobbying, Non-party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Bill has three aims in its current form: to create a registry of consultant lobbyists, to reduce the amount of money permitted to be donated by ‘third parties’, and to establish records of Trade Union membership lists and other such related changes to administration. At first glance, this bill seems like a step in the right direction – more control over lobbyists means less influence by big companies, right? Wrong. In fact, major lobbyists will remain largely unhindered by the proposal, all the while non-profit and charity organisations, such as Oxfam and Save the Children, will be heavily restricted in their ability to campaign. These recent government antics have yet again blown a fuse in civil society. Outrage was inevitable in both the

parliament and on the streets, where organisations that were set up to advocate civil and humanitarian rights for others are now fighting for their own. The fact that the bill faces strong opposition from both the Tories and Labour speaks volumes of the legislative muddle Prime Minister David Cameron and Deputy PM Nick Clegg have made in their effort to shine ‘the light of transparency’ on lobbying, a ridiculously convenient effort given the upcoming 2015 elections. Sources close to Clegg attempted to give clarification on the situation, saying he has been clear this legalisation should not have an adverse effect on the campaigning activities of charities and non-profit organisations. However, this remains to be seen. It goes without saying that Cameron and company are getting desperate, but this time they have crossed the line. It is getting increasingly apparent that they’re willing to pull out every weapon in their arsenal to latch onto their diminishing chances of being voted into power, no holds barred. And this situation begs the question if this really is just a botched attempt at passing a controversial law, or a deliberate jab at freedom of speech for the sake of political interests.

Harry Mason Comment Writer @HarryMason19 It’s that time of year again folks. No, not Christmas – stop getting ahead of yourselves – but Movember, that hallowed month when thousands of faces become adorned with all manner of moustache (and thousands more become afflicted with second hand stubble-rash). Just like Christmas, though, Movember is one of those occasions we sometimes need reminding the true meaning of. It’s easy to forget that Movember originated with a group of friends in an Adelaide pub who grew moustaches to raise money for prostate cancer awareness. The idea has since ballooned, becoming an annual tradition for men across the globe and raising hundreds of millions of pounds in the process. However, its popularity means that many men now taking part aren’t actually aware of its purpose as a fundraising initiative. It probably doesn’t help that the humble ’tache has become so fashionable of late; from socks and cushions to Gok Wan’s index finger, they’re everywhere. Even if they haven’t quite hit the annoying, plastered-on-everything ubiquity of

that ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ craze, there’s no denying that moustaches are more fashion accessory than fundraiser nowadays. Perhaps they are simply too commonplace to seem worthy of our spare change anymore? Of course we’ve endured far worse fashion trends over the years, but to

“It doesn’t help that the humble ‘tache has become fashionable of late” quote Miracle on 34th Street, it seems the meaning of Movember truly has become “lost in the shuffle” (well, they were talking about Christmas, but same difference). It would be a shame if focusing on the moustache’s cool factor made us overlook its potential to raise money for worthwhile causes, and it’s important to remember that Movember can be more than an excuse to look retro or show off your superior testosterone. And anyway, if you’re gonna put your follicles to the test in this way, why not guilt some cash out of your nearest and dearest while you’re at it? So, whether you opt for the handlebar, the Poirot, or even the lesserspotted Fu Manchu, to all the guys (and possibly girls) out there currently pruning their facial foliage for the sake of men’s health, we salute you.


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concrete.comment@uea.ac.uk

Issue 289

19/11/13

Comment

The loose heads in rugby culture Rosie Yates Comment Writer Oxford’s Pembroke College Rugby Club recently made headlines when a particularly misogynistic email was circulated amongst members. The club’s social secretary, Woo Kim, sent an email entitled “FREE PUSSY” to around fifty club members. The email set members the ‘challenge’ of finding a female fresher to bring as a date, along with a bottle of wine spiked with “a substance of your choice.” Kim asserts that “every fresher in Pembroke is quaking in their boots thinking they might be picked as our date.” In one sentence he unintentionally identifies the precise reason that rape culture in universities is a huge issue. His apparent pride in instilling terror in his fellow students is frankly terrifying. Woo Kim resigned his post and apologised for his actions, stating that the club “were not planning on spiking drinks.” Whilst his intention not to spike the drinks of female students is terribly honourable, he does seem to be missing the point.

His email perpetuates rape culture as an acceptable phenomenon. Group conformity is often of great importance within sports clubs. This certainly becomes a problem when group members begin to engage in harmful behaviour, or indeed perpetuate the idea that such behaviour is acceptable. As such, there is a danger when an authority figure within a club makes a decision to encourage members to engage in sexual harassment. It does not matter that they may have been making an extremely illconsidered joke, the fact remains that such a joke trivialises rape. It would seem that misogyny within university rugby clubs is becoming a depressingly common theme. St. Cuthbert’s College Rugby Club at Durham University has recently been called out on its playing of a drinking game of ‘It’s not rape if…’ at one of their socials. The incident came to light after it was overheard by a member of Durham’s Feminist Society. The Hidden Marks report, based on a nationwide survey conducted by the National Union of Students in 2010, found that one in seven female students

experienced serious physical or sexual assault during their time at university. This number is shockingly high, and any decent human being would surely agree that rape and sexual assault are no joke. So why are young, well-educated men still laughing? A lack of awareness of the consequences of casual misogyny is perhaps partly to blame. Following the ‘It’s not rape if...’ incident at Durham the team captain of the rugby team emailed Durham’s Feminist Society

an apology, and proposed a future relationship between the two societies. This relationship will hopefully prove beneficial in promoting understanding that the trivialisation of sexual assault is unacceptable. The captain of Pembroke College’s rugby team has also expressed his regret, along with intentions to work to eradicate future misogyny. The club have since attended workshops on understanding sexual consent.


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The policy flaw affecting British drinking ID when delivering online purchases, the general consensus was that Tesco’s delivery service was less likely to require identification when orders contained agerestricted goods. Although fewer young people, predominantly students, appeared to order online from Sainsbury’s, those asked explained that identification had been requested from them on every order containing alcohol.

Olivia Grosvenor Comment Writer @OliviaGrosvenor Despite the pleasures of being able to purchase a few bottles of wine and other liquid party supplies along with a weekly online Sainsbury’s shop, the issues created by online availability of alcohol are also blindingly obvious. Considering the level of effort, funding and government campaign put into controlling the consumption of alcohol and its safety, the ease of buying the substance via the internet could be considered a step backwards for a sensible UK drinking culture. Due to tensions between technological advances and slow development of new legal policy in the UK, buying alcohol online is now arguably easier than ever for underage drinkers. The days of lingering around an off-license until a ‘cool’ looking adult agrees to step in and buy you and your friends a bottle of vodka are seemingly old fashioned. Instead, the luxury of a click-and-go purchase is all too stress-free and it could be argued that the importance of customer age identification for online supermarket delivery is somewhat ‘hit and miss’. From the brief peer-based feedback received for this article when asking whether or not supermarkets do ask for

“The legalisation of online alcohol sales currently appear to be all too problematic” So, why the inconsistency in ID policy? It’s fairly simple, but somewhat nonsensical. Whereas supermarket and off-license staff are legally obliged to ask their younger customers for proof of age when purchasing alcohol, according to the 2010 Home Office Licensing Conditions, it is legal for a courier service to deliver alcohol to an underage person if the delivery address belongs to an adult. Taking the current loose policy conditions into consideration the legalisation of online alcohol sales currently appear to be all too problematic. Until those policies are revised there will debatably always be a significant loophole in UK age restriction laws for purchasing alcohol.

Flickr: Christian.Senger

The masking of the Million Mask March Geri Scott Comment Writer @Geri_E_L_Scott Demonstrations planned in more than 400 cities, to coincide with Guy Fawkes Day, were conceptualised by the wearing of white-faced Guy Fawkes masks synonymous with the Occupy movement and hacktivist group Anonymous. One of the largest protests took place in London, with outspoken comedian Russell Brand pictured in attendance. But what were those involved actually protesting against? You would be excused for not being aware as there was a clear lack of coverage on all major news channels, and the sparse media

coverage that there was focussed on the attendance of Russell Brand almost exclusively. Furthermore, The Million Mask March’s Facebook page shed little light on the aims of the march, stating that followers should “remember who your enemies are: billionaires who own banks and corporations who corrupt politicians who enslave the people in injustice [sic].” Though with prior knowledge we can assume protests were against austerity, social injustice and the 1%, amongst other things. Most attendees donned the Guy Fawkes mask, made popular with antigovernment and anti-establishment groups since its prevalence in the graphic novel, and later film adaptation, V for Vendetta. This must have warmed the hearts of Time Warner share holders, the multinational media company who receive a royalty payment for every mask sold to the anti-capitalists. However the masks, when worn together with a hood, create a strong visual impact and also maintain the anonymity of the protestor. The lack of coverage of the Million

Mask March could be down to the lack of an agreed upon platform for change, a problem that the Occupy movement in all its forms encountered. When a movement can be diffused into a series of ad hoc groups, it makes it difficult to pin point exactly what cause they are championing. Whether you agree with the means and aims of the Million Mask March or not, you should take issue with the general rule that state-run or corporate mainstream media will only allocate coverage to certain demonstrations,

Flickr: marcnoccil

usually those aligned with statesanctioned political parties or advocacy groups. Anything outside of this can be seen to be swept under the carpet. An example is the amnesty-immigration rally that took place during the US government shutdown. This was given prime time by media outlets, possibly because it promoted a political party agenda. Many believe that this method is the globalist, corporatist way of keeping control over ‘consensus reality’ surrounding dissident movements. Simply put: if it’s not on the BBC, it didn’t happen.


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concrete.global@uea.ac.uk

Issue 289

Global

19/11/13

Climate Change, typhoons and poverty: the perfect storm? Josh Chapman Global Writer

Climate change has no direct impact on most people’s lives, and they view it either with indifference or with contempt. But for those currently fighting for survival in the Philippines a week after one of the largest storms on record, the realities of climate change could not be more poignant. In the last ten years the Philippines has fallen victim to some of the worst natural disasters the country has ever seen. The destruction caused by Ondoy in 2009 is still fresh in many Filipinos’ minds as they face all too familiar fates. Talking to CNN last Tuesday, President Aquino warned that tropical storms of this level were becoming more frequent, and that there was “no debate” over the realities of climate change. Typhoon Haiyan struck the islands of Leyte and Samar on Friday 8th November and left a wake of destruction, killing

thousands. Although the official death toll currently exceeds 2,300, local officials and aid workers from the Filipino Red Cross fear the number could be much higher; perhaps as high as 10,000. The Philippines has a turbulent postcolonial past and still has overwhelming levels of inequality. The majority of the population still suffer from extreme poverty that has only been further exacerbated by the typhoon. The government puts the number affected at just under 7 million, but the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says 11.3 million people are in need of vital goods and services like food, access to healthcare and education, and help to restore destroyed livelihoods. The most affected city, Tacloban on the island of Leyte, is home to 220,000 Filipinos. Many have found escape routes, but those without the resources, or those stranded in the most affected areas, are now left deserted, growing more and more desperate as food resources run lower and the possibility of social unrest

grows. Eight people were killed as a wall collapsed last Tuesday as thousands of survivors faced with desperation and no obvious signs of aid raided a food warehouse. The similarities between the neglect of poor communities in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina and the neglect of poor people in Tacloban are alarming, and yet the government continues to defend its slow response to helping its citizens. Aid missions began to reach the region on Wednesday after a wide call for donations from various humanitarian agencies and government disaster emergency committees. Appeals in the UK raised £13m in their first 24 hours, while many countries have criticised China, the world’s second largest economy, for off-loading “insultingly small change” of just US$100,000 (£62,356). This has led to widespread speculation that its international image and “soft power”, or its ability to influence other countries based on its appeal rather than force, will be irreversibly tarnished.

Witnessing first-hand Filipinos’ resilience to previous natural disasters, the sense of solidarity to those affected, and the selfless actions in order to help their fellow countrymen, there is no doubt that this disaster is like nothing they have previously faced. A growing sense of desperation fuels many as they wait to hear from relatives still missing. The coming weeks will see many holding their breath in the hope of a well-executed and well mediated humanitarian effort, though this has so far been slow in coming. As a whole city lies in ruin, with thousands already living below the poverty line left homeless, and many in hard-to-reach rural areas, this aid is greatly needed and a global effort is required to prevent chaotic social disorder. This being said, the aid focus should be on water, healthcare, food and shelter as the most important methods to avoid violence, and should be more than just a self-congratulatory political weapon for use by the world’s governments.

Congo’s New Gold Rush

This is an edited excerpt of a feature piece, available now at concreteonline.co.uk/global

out of a total population of 69 million – that’s nearly 8% of all the people in the country. Fighting also displaces millions of people - an estimated 2.5 million people have been forced to leave their homes since the late 1980s. Congo is often called the “rape capital of the world,” following reports from NGOs like Human Rights Watch documenting the use of rape as a weapon of war; more recently a 2007 study estimated more than a million Congolese women have been raped once or more during their lifetime. The situation can be traced back through Congo’s tumultuous colonial history, following Belgium’s land grab during the 19th century “scramble for Africa.” Belgian Congo was simply a source of raw materials for Belgium, and the plentiful natural resources there have been rapaciously exploited ever since colonisation. Since then, the resulting free-for-all has allowed armed groups to seize control of mines in order to facilitate mayhem with blood money from the sale of diamonds, gold, tin, tantalum and cobalt. It is widely documented that corrupt government officials profit from the illegal spoils alongside the warring factions with de facto control over the mines. The slow progress in cleaning them up is having an effect on this illicit trade agreement, whereby government and rebel armies alike fund horrific brutality with appropriated minerals, growing fat off the profits while ordinary Congolese people die. The situation is perpetuated

are raping, pillaging, and killing. It’s as simple as that.” However, what seems simple on the surface may involve a much more complex array of factors – the DoddFrank financial reform bill, signed by Obama in summer 2010, was criticised alongside a six-month government ban on mining and trading in Eastern Congo in the same year. It was predicted that companies like Intel would boycott mines and smelters that could not prove their conflict-free, or “green” credentials, thereby decimating the livelihoods of tens of thousands of poor miners. This was the case for some time, although the growth of certified green mines and smelters with a guarantee system has led to a resurgence in the mining of precious minerals, this time without the bloodstains. Heightened awareness and some degree of consumer pressure has obviously led to some companies developing a conscience with regards to precious metals. The Fairphone is the first smartphone in which every component in the supply chain is guaranteed to be conflict-free, and aims to be environmentally and socially responsible in every aspect of its manufacture. 25,000 have already been sold, indicative of a growing concern among citizens of developed countries about atrocities committed in the name of technological progress in countries like Congo. Hopefully every phone you buy will soon be untainted with the blood and pain of Congo’s war.

Ella Gilbert Global Editor Coltan. Tantalum. Cobalt. Sounds like things relevant to nobody except Walter White. Guess again; these precious minerals are in virtually every electronic device you can imagine. Most people in the UK probably use a device containing one of these minerals 20 times or more every day. The Democratic Republic of the Congo has some of the world’s largest deposits of coltan and cobalt. This has prompted a recent mining boom in DRC which has financed serious ethnic conflict and war. The profits from lucrative mines are seized by the militias and local warlords who control them, and the money is then used to finance military exercises, spurring violence and destruction across Congo. Children are forcibly assimilated into these armies, becoming addicted

“5.4 million people, or 8% of the population, died during the war from 19982007” to drugs and alcohol, and committing horrendous atrocities as a result of their desensitised attitudes towards other human beings. What is perhaps more alarming is that the horrors in Congo go largely unreported; 5.4 million people died during the war from 1998 to 2007,

by

underhand

government funding to the rebels, providing them with weapons whilst visibly fighting them in the anarchic eastern provinces. R e c e n t attempts to disconnect the supply of essential minerals from warfare, such as the “no blood on my cell phone” campaign, led by NGOs and religious institutions, called for a trade embargo on “blood tantalum,” drawing parallels with the successful campaign to raise awareness about blood diamonds. However, trying to get people to give up items which have become so firmly entrenched in our everyday lives is going to be a hard-sell. The corporations that benefit from the production of cheap blood tantalum know this only too well. Although some companies like Motorola, HP and Intel, which manufacture everything from phones to computer microchips, have started to wean themselves off the habit, there are many who still profit from it, relying on our addiction to technology and our unwillingness to pay more for it. Intel has sacrificed some of its profits in the name of clean minerals because they “don’t want to support people who


Features

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The benefit system: ‘strivers’ and ‘scroungers’? Features writer Steffan Smith discusses the myth of poverty versus its harsh reality, and where this image of the poor has come from. worked with were there for two major reasons. The first was that they were unable to work, and did not possess capital assets to live off of. The second is that they were able to work, but there were no available secure employment

“The true scandal played out in miniature across our nation is, as I encountered on a daily basis, not the prevalence of scrounging benefits fraudsters. It is in fact the staggering inefficiency of the welfare system”

photo: Flickr @dgphilli

Who are the poor? Why are they poor? And what keeps them in this state? These three simple questions are central to the way in which we, as a society, approach the welfare needs of our poorest people. Although there are a myriad of ways to approach answering these questions, from the pile of competing ideas, musings and polemics, two distinct opposing views emerge. The first is to assess the poor individually, weighing and judging each destitute person in isolation. If we were to take this position, unfair assumptions may be made. There are some who may think that a poor woman is poor because she is lazy and unintelligent, preferring the dole to

“Poverty and choice are complete opposites. Contrary to the illusion deftly woven by our current welfare adverse government” employment. In sum, she is an inferior citizen. After all, there are opportunities a plenty for her to capitalize upon, if she were to only try. Aren’t there? This approach is obviously problematic. It presumes that there is a high demand for labour, and that adequately paid and secure jobs are plentiful. If this is the case, unemployment could be seen as a personal choice. Misidentifying the poor as the cause of poverty is a major flaw in this view. A different approach, one that does not assume that poverty is caused by individual action, is needed. Instead, it can be put down to the powerlessness of those people more unfortunate than us, and the impersonal rumblings of the economy. Our society’s

lack of entry level, secure and well paid employment is the root of poverty. The blame does not lie in the inferiority, intransigence and criminality of the poor person.

with enough adequate hours to guarantee their survival. These people are destitute not by choice, but by virtue of misfortune and lack of opportunity. They rely, either temporarily or permanently, upon the welfare payments that we as a society rightly underwrite. The true scandal played out in miniature across our nation is, as I encountered on a daily basis, not the prevalence of scrounging benefits fraudsters. It is in fact the staggering

inefficiency of the welfare system. It is an administrative mess that ensures that any urgent applications, sent via Basildon Benefits Centre, take two months to clear. They wait in a purgatorial state, where it’s not uncommon to face three months of process without payment. What does one do in the meantime? Unfortunately, when legitimate livelihood avenues fail, people are left with little to turn to. We as a society must not lose sight of the truth. The welfare system is there to safeguard all of us. It is an

“We must not lose sight of the truth. The Conservative Party’s rhetoric is designed to divide us” acknowledgement that choice is a luxury, and misfortune strikes without discrimination. The Conservative Party’s rhetoric on benefits is designed to divide us, fortunate worker from unfortunate, ‘striver’ from ‘scrounger.’ Let us contest this poisonous illusion and, in doing so, maintain our compassion and perspective.

“When our political voices, such as the current Conservative govenment, warn us of welfare dependency they are promoting a misguided opinion” So when our political voices, such as the current Conservative government, warn us of welfare dependency (as they did often and loudly at the recent part conference) they are promoting a misguided opinion. Their logic is based upon the ‘factual’ soundness of an individualist interpretation of poverty. It is a logic that presumes cutbacks in welfare will precipitate a surge for the abundant job vacancies, and not a desperate grab for the balaclava and polishing of the pistols. You hardly need to look far to see first-hand how the Tory rationale fails to capture the realities of the pursuit for livelihood that concerns those at the bottom of the food chain. Indeed, I gained an insight into this problem following my two months assisting at the Salvation Army’s homeless drop in centre in our very own Norwich. My time there taught me that poverty and choice are complete opposites. Contrary to the illusion deftly woven by our current welfare adverse government, the impoverished whom I

Flikr: bayasaa

Flickr: @JB London


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concrete.features@uea.ac.uk

Issue 289

Features

19/11/13

19/11/13

Issue 289

concrete.features@uea.ac.uk

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An Evening with Tony Benn Features writer Daniel Falvey spent an evening in the presence of the veteran Labour politican, who spoke about his extraordinary life and career, and his views on modern politics. On Tuesday 29 October the last of Tony Benn’s political diaries, ‘A Blaze of Autumn Sunshine’ was published. On the eve of the book’s release, the Labour veteran was in Norwich visiting the OPEN venue. He spoke about his lengthy experience in politics, before answering questions from an audience full of admirers of the man who stood as a Labour MP for 52 years. On a stage lit with a typically Labour tone of red, the now 88 year old influential political figure sat comfortably in an armchair, looking forward to his first political engagement in over a year. It is a common idea that with age one become less radical in their political ideas, tending instead to slowly shift towards the right wing of the political spectrum, rather than the left. However, this is a saying that certainly does not apply to Mr Benn. The once described “national treasure” as he was deemed by readers of the Sunday Telegraph, has arguably become more and more radical the older he has become. However, being titled as a nation treasure is an association that Benn himself denies being a suitable description of his character. “I was once the most hated man in Britain – and now they say I’m a national treasure! See what they mean by national treasure is you’re a kindly, harmless old gentleman; and I am kindly, I am old, I am a gentleman but I am certainly not harmless.” Throughout his life Tony Benn has always been known for being an

outspoken man who says exactly how he feels. He confessed that he believes this to be a key principle that all politicians must have. ‘I believe it always necessary to say what you mean, mean what you say and do what you say you will do’. This motto, by which the Labour member appears to have lived his whole life, seems to also be the principle that he uses to judges others. “I voted for Ed Miliband [to become party leader]. I’ve

people.” However, he also highlighted his belief that there is a need for a change in Britain’s relationship with the EU. Benn indicated that what frightens him about the European Union “is the fact that the people who run it are not elected by the people in the country, and so we really could be governed by a German government… the good thing about British democracy, despite its pitfalls, is we hire the government and we sack them if we don’t like them and that is what makes ministers listen because they know they are hired. This does not happen with Europe.” The ability to be held accountable

“I voted for Ed Miliband, ...I’ve known him since he was a boy...and I believe that he is a man who says what he means and means what he says”

“The good thing about British democracy, despite its pitfalls, is we hire the government and we sack them if we don’t like them and that is what makes ministers listen because they know they are hired”

known him since a boy, he used to work with me when he was at school, and I believe that he is a man who says what he means and means what he says.” It was this phrase that was repeated several times through the evening. Benn also claimed that it was this manner of behaving politically that set the way for Margaret Thatcher’s success. “[She followed those principles] and on the whole people trusted her and her real strength was that she had won the confidence of a lot of the people of Britain.” As a man who has served as an MP for four different Labour leaders, for a period of 17 years in the executive, and has seen 11 different faces become Prime Minister

“I was once the most hated man in Britain! – and now they say I’m a national treasure! See what they mean by national treasure is you’re a kindly, harmless old gentleman; and I am kindly, I am old, I am a gentleman but I am certainly not harmless” while he was an MP, the veteran has no problem in saying that Clement Attlee,

the first Prime Minister he served under, was definitely the one he most admired. “He came into power at the end of the war and invested in the country… he set up the National Health Service and the welfare state; he brought jobs and industry at a time of economic downturn.” As well as reflecting upon his time as an MP, the infamous politician also spoke about more current issues, including providing an opinion on Scottish independence. “I’m half Scot, my mother was a Scot and I was brought up in a United Kingdom family.” He also lived in Scotland for a year in 1928 when he was three after his London home flooded.

It is a common idea that with age one become less radical in their political ideas, tending instead to slowly shift towards the right wing of the political spectrum, rather than the left. However, this is a saying that certainly does not apply to Mr Benn. “I would be very sorry for Scotland to turn my mother into a foreigner! I would

consider that a divorce I hadn’t considered ever happening! Although they have an absolute right to do it, I think it would be a shame if they did because Scotland has benefited greatly from the United Kingdom and we have benefitted greatly from them being in it.” Tony Benn was equally keen to talk about other international issues, and was eager to express his opinions on the proposed 2017 referendum on Britain’s membership to the European Union. “I think the decision regarding Europe, and to be a part of a united Europe is such a huge decision, you couldn’t justify it without having the support of the British

for your own actions is something that Benn is a great believer in. “If you meet anyone who has power, then there are five questions you should ask them. One: What power have you got? Two: Where did you get it from? Three: In whose interests do you use it? Four: To whom are you accountable? And the last question is: How can we get rid of you?” It is the basis of the last two questions that have shaped Benn’s issues with the European Union. Though it isn’t only within the European Union that Benn believes there is a lack of accountability. He also believes that there should be more accountability in UK’s domestic politics. “I fought hard for cabinet minutes to be published” the ex-Labour minister explained. “These are the decisions which are being made that affect the entire country. People have the

I don’t think we can call ourselves a civilised society if we can let old people die in poverty. Something needs to be done”. right to know which way the debate in the cabinet was going and who said what”.

Throughout the evening the ageing politician, who now sports a beard due to finding shaving uncomfortable, coughed and spluttered. “I do think that what we need is a National Care Service.” Now in need of care in his older age, the veteran has recently moved out of his house in Holland Park, London where he lived for 60 years, to a small London flat to be supervised by a warden. “We really need a system in which everyone can get help, because everyone in their old age needs that, and I think that if there was a National Care Service lots of people in old age would be much happier”. The topic is one which Tony Benn can talk about from experience. He has been in and out of hospital ever since he first had a stroke in 2009 and was most recently admitted 11 September of this year. “There’s an aging population and a lot of poverty among older people, and I don’t think we can call ourselves a civilised society if we can let old people die in poverty. Something needs to be done”. Questioned on whether he ever thought such a service would materialise he simply answered, “I think it has to happen and I think it will happen.” It was a privilege to hear the notorious politician share his views. and experiences. It’s obvious that despite retiring, Tony Benn still cares for the political state of our country and this evening in Norwich, witnessing the audience in rapture of and engaging with Benn, it’s clear that we as a society still need voices and opinions as defined and radical as his are.


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concrete.environment@uea.ac.uk

Issue 289

Environment

19/11/13

Australia failing to address climate change James Mills Environment Writer Earlier this month, it was confirmed that the Australian Coalition government would not be sending its environment minister, Greg Hunt, to the latest string of UN climate talks in Warsaw, Poland. Instead, it has opted to send government diplomat Justin Lee. It is the first time that Australia has failed to send a government minister since the Kyoto Accord in 1997, and the move has been heavily criticised by the previous Labor government’s environment minister, Mark Butler. He accused the Australian prime minister, Tony Abbott, of denying the science of climate change and of not taking the issue seriously enough, stating that “when it comes to climate change, the Coalition has proved itself to be an embarrassment on the world stage”. The Coalition government’s lack of sympathy towards efforts to mitigate climate change was made evident on its election, when it announced that the first item of legislative business would be to revoke the carbon tax introduced by the previous administration. Although this makes costs lower for Australian businesses in the short term, such a decision could potentially discourage innovation and renewable energy integration into business operations, weakening Australia’s resilience to climate change and stretching resources in the long run.

Jacob Beebe Environment Writer

Visafirst.com The decision has coincided with a number of other recent events which have together raised questions about what Australia’s future approach to climate change policy might be. Former Australian prime minister John Howard, speaking to reporters before his address to the Global Warming Policy Foundation – an organisation founded by leading British climate change sceptic Nigel Lawson – recently said that “people who believe climate change will be catastrophic for the world are zealots who have adopted the cause as a substitute religion”. However, despite making such bold comments, Howard admitted that he had only ever read one book on climate change: Lawson’s An Appeal to Reason: A Cool Look at Global Warming. With figures

of such authority making statements so at odds with the scientific consensus that warming is ‘unequivocal’ and largely anthropogenic, it begs the question: should undereducated opinion really take precedence over the vast majority of scientific evidence when it comes to shaping a national approach towards climate change policy? Probably not. With suggestions that the new Australian cabinet are also rethinking their backing of the Green Climate Fund, an international fund aimed at helping developing countries to adapt to the impacts of climate change and develop sustainably, it appears that climate change is taking a back seat in the Australian agenda at a time when the issue is of ever increasing importance.

Coastal defence: saving Sussex from the sea Ellen Coquio Environment Writer A managed coastal realignment scheme to overcome flooding between Portsmouth and Worthing was completed last week. The £28m project will involve surrendering 183 hectares of land to the sea to form a saltwater marsh. Seven kilometres of new sea wall has been built up to two kilometres inland; part of the old sea wall has been knocked down at Medmerry, West Sussex, to allow the flat land on the coast of the Manhood Peninsula to be inundated with sea water. The new sea wall is much closer to local communities, but homes will be better protected as a result. The surrendered land will have the potential to become home to many new species, and the area will be managed by the RSPB. “It is already starting to be used by the wildlife. It’s a massive nature reserve and a massive opportunity on the south coast” said Andrew Gilham, the Environment Agency’s flood and coastal risk manager.

Green spaces boost mental health

“Even in construction, we’re seeing lots of migratory birds using this area”. The Environment Agency has been working on this scheme since 2011, and it is set to be the country’s largest managed realignment scheme. The project was put to the test from the word go, with one of the highest tides of the year occurring on the day it opened. However this new coastal defence is believed to be able to withstand a one-in-one-thousand-year flood. “Rather than fighting it, we’re working with nature” Andrew Gilham explained. “It’s an important change in approach, you can only keep building bigger and bigger defences for so long”. As well as benefiting the south coast in terms of protection from the sea, the scheme has the potential to improve tourism in the area, bringing people to less-known areas to see the wetland habitat. “Certainly the habitat we are creating here is important to the broader ecosystem and the broader economy of the country by encouraging people to visit remote areas”.

Tanoshimi

Concrete talks to

Jenny Jones

We often hear of increased housing and development projects having a detrimental effect on our natural environments. With an ever increasing population, the number of natural areas is dwindling in comparison with urban expansion. But does this come at a cost to our mental health? It is widely known that plant life contributes to human survival through production of oxygen and through its role as a carbon sink. However, it has been suggested that green areas can greatly benefit your health in other ways. The Woodland Trust’s chief executive, Sue Holden, has said that the NHS could save £2.1bn per year by increasing the population’s access to green spaces. This is backed up by studies showing that access to green spaces increase people’s wellbeing and has a positive effect on health. A study published in the journal Psychological Science found that urbanisation could be a contributing factor to mental health issues: populations living closer to green areas tend to have lower levels of mental health problems. Holden also said that just 14% of people in England have access to green spaces within 500 metres from their home. The concept that nature is in some way beneficial to your wellbeing is a relatively easy one to grasp. Consider how often you have heard a friend say that they are going to grab some fresh air. Furthermore, a concrete jungle is not often considered an idyllic view... And if exposure to nature did not improve psychological wellbeing, there would be significantly fewer red panda pictures circulating our social media, and fewer sites dedicated to videos of hilarious sloth antics. Clearly, not all psychological issues can be solved by buying a potted plant, but it would appear that preservation of the UK’s natural habitats would be hugely beneficial, both financially and for the wellbeing of the population. Perhaps it should be considered a higher priority.

the first member of the Green Party to sit in the

House

of

Lords

Read the interview at:

www.concrete-online.co.uk

Flickr: Lightningboy2000


Science & Tech

19/11/13

Issue 289

concrete.science@uea.ac.uk

The New Space Race?

India’s Mission to Mars Leo Kellock Science Writer The 6 November heralded the latest of India’s space flight achievements, the lift off of a mission to Mars. The Mars Orbiter Mission, also called Mangalyaan, is the country’s first mission to Mars and will spend the next 300 days travelling to the red planet. Its objective is to scan for methane gas in the Martian atmosphere, which has previously been detected but breaks down quickly in the conditions present, meaning that any methane found has to be continually produced. Since 95% of the methane in Earth’s atmosphere is produced by microbes, some have speculated that proof of large scale amounts could hint to a biosphere within the planet’s surface, although the much more boring and likely answer is that it is produced by geological activity. The mission also seeks to examine how Mars has lost its atmosphere over time. This is the second large scale space endeavour that India has launched in the last few years. The previous was that of launching a similar orbital craft to the moon that surprised the world when it discovered a fine film of water there that could be of use to future space exploration. This and the latest mission are a testament to how quickly India is taking a larger role on the stage of space exploration that mirrors its burgeoning global economic power. Yet both these missions have been prepared on a

vastly lower budget than that of space agencies like NASA. Mangalyaan cost the India Space Research Organisation only 72 million dollars, comparably cheap in relation to similar projects. Cost is reduced by its smaller scientific scope than missions like the Mars Rovers, as well as fuel reductions by the probe building velocity as it orbits the Earth to slingshot to Mars, a process though which has met with glitches. However, while this is seen as a success for the world’s largest democracy, there are critics who point to India’s large gap between its rich and poor. They say that for a country like this to spend so much on a mission to Mars

“Some say it is grossly negligent of problems at home, while others point to the huge economic benefits that could result from it” is grossly negligent of problems at home. Yet others point to the economic benefits that could result from the research and building of the probe, and that the more ‘developed’ world is not without its social issues, yet still spends billions on similar endeavours. Nonetheless it is clear that after the dominance of NASA for so many decades, the exploration of the solar system is opening up slightly to a new generation of superpowers.

Probing Phobos

WorldNomads.com Mabon Elis Science writer

In 2020 a Russian space mission will launch at the Martian moon Phobos. The mission, called Phobos-Grunt 2, will collect samples from Phobos and return them to Earth for tests. But it has now been confirmed that such a mission will also return with matter from the red planet itself. Phobos is a tiny and mysterious object orbiting Mars just 6,000km from the planet’s surface. Some believe it is an asteroid captured by Mars’ orbit; others think it could be a chunk of Mars itself, knocked off early in the planet’s history. Over millions of years impacts by projectiles have blown dust and debris from the surface of Mars onto Phobos. This means that the moon’s regolith, the name given to the surface layer of dust and rock, will contain Martian particles. The imminence of the planned mission makes the question of how much Martian material is present on Phobos a practical rather than academic one, according to James Head at Brown University. He said: “This work shows that samples from Mars can indeed be found in the soil of Phobos, and how their concentration might change with depth. That will be critical in the design of the drills and other equipment.” Head carried out the work in collaboration with Ken Ramsley, also at Brown, initially in preparation for the original Phobos-Grunt mission, which launched two years ago. However,

Meteor points to blitz from beyond the stars Chloe Moore Science Writer Three studies were published last week that had been researching the Chelyabinsk meteor, with scientists concluding that the threat of near-Earth space objects could be 10 times greater than previously thought. The Chelyabinsk meteor exploded in Russia, near the Kazakhstan border on 15 February this year. The meteor entered earth’s atmosphere travelling at a staggering 19km per second and was 19m wide, with the force from the shockwave causing destruction in areas more than 100km away from the impact site. The energy of the meteor was equivalent to an explosion of 500 kilotons of TNT, about the same force as a nuclear bomb. Directly below the fireball’s path, the shockwaves were strong enough to shatter glass windows, injuring 1,500 people and damaging more than 3,500 buildings. At its most intense, the meteor

was 30 times brighter than the sun, with the ultraviolet light from the meteor causing sunburn and retinal burns to witnesses. Between 4,000kg‐and 6,000kg of the meteor fell to Earth, with one of the largest fragments being a 654kg chunk which was recovered from the bottom of Chebarkul Lake on 16 October. Further analysis of the rock led scientists to determine the asteroid was about 4.4 billion years old. Although the results are not infallible, the study published in Nature suggests that the Chelyabinsk meteor originated from a 2km-wide rock, known as asteroid 86039, due to very similar orbit paths. The event was the biggest impact over land for over a century, with the last incident of this magnitude being the infamous Tunguska event in 1908, which was also in Russia. However, this was the first time that a meteor strike was so well documented, due to the abundance of modern technology. Scientists were able to study the event using typical data

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sources, such as infrasound and seismic. However, they also used over 400 video clips from the public to further study the asteroid, with footage captured on the ground from residents smart phones and security cameras. Although asteroids greater than 1km are well known, the Chelyabinsk meteor was much smaller than this and was not detected until after it broke up in the Earth’s atmosphere. This has lead scientists to believe that these events are much more frequent than previously thought, and that we should expect a Chelyabinsk‐sized event at least once every 25 years. The occurrence of the event has bought much more attention to this area of research, with scientists suggesting that early warning systems need to be implemented. This will allow for the interception and diversion of any threatening space objects, minimising the impacts that could be felt by earth from these sorts of events in the future.

an engine failure meant that this first mission was left stranded in Earth’s orbit. The Russian space agency, the Space Research Institute (IKI), is hopeful that the “improved and simplified” Phobos-Grunt 2 will be more successful. Head and Ramsley’s research concluded, using observed orbital information and modelling techniques, that the regolith of Phobos is around 250 parts per million Martian. Ramsey also predicts that most of the Martian material should be close to the surface of the regolith: “Only recently – in the last several hundred million years or so – has Phobos orbited so close to Mars. In the distant past it orbited much higher up.” Phobos-Grunt 2 is part of a much bigger Mars project by IKI. In 2018, two cosmonauts will spend a year on the International Space Station (ISS); they will then come back to Earth to perform simulated Martian experiments, before returning to the ISS to simulate their journey back home. A manned exploration of the planet is planned for 2035.

Science on the Net. Dracula Goes Cold Turkey; Transylvanian Scientists Develop Synthetic Blood.

Visit www.concrete-online.co.uk/ science-and-tech for the full story!

Credit: SpaceX


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concrete.travel@uea.ac.uk

Issue 289

19/11/13

Travel

Students set to Build Big in Morocco Laura Crocket Travel Writer New to UEA this year, the Big Build Project is a two week volunteering trip to Morocco. Set for July 2014, the project aims to help improve the educational prospects of children in the chosen area. With the registration period soon coming to an end, Concrete was able to sit down with the main organiser at UEA, Claire Hilsinger, to find out more about the latest venture to be organised in partnership with the RAG society.

majority of your time strolling through markets and basking in the sun, but Claire explained there’s time for everything with ‘Big Build’. “There are plenty of opportunities for leisure time in the middle of the day and in the evenings, when the group can relax and get to know the local community through group meals and various activities. It’s a great way to get to know the people you are directly benefitting through the project. At the end of the trip, there is also the chance for a free day in Marrakesh, where you can go round the local souks and markets, and take in the culture of the city. Or if you prefer, go back to the desert to partake in activities such as camel riding.” Big Build is an obvious example of ‘Voluntourism’, and as such any participant stands to gain substantially

“The project is a way of enhancing my organisation and management skills” With any charitable endeavour, if one is considering getting involved, the main thing to know is what the goals of the project are. Claire explained, “The project’s aim is to build language centres for the Berber community within Morocco, who only speak a local language. These centres will teach the children French and Arabic which are the national languages of Morocco, this will allow them to go to school and get jobs later on in life. It is part of a greater goal of Childreach International, which is to ‘Unlock Children’s Potential’.” Morocco is a beautiful and culturally rich country, it might be hard to imagine going there and not spending the vast

from participating. Claire stated that the experience would prove beneficial in a number of ways. “For me personally, the project is way of enhancing my organisation and management skills in a completely different environment. I am hoping it will give me greater confidence and adaptability in dealing with new situations, whilst also creating memories and lasting friendships through a once in a lifetime experience.” Although students are donating their time once they arrive, it would be counterproductive if charities paid for volunteers’ flights. Equally though it could seem too great a sacrifice for participants to have to fund the trip entirely themselves, instead, students are

expected to fundraise. In fact, with the internet and social media, fundraising has come a long way from the days of pestering family members with flimsy sign up sheets. That said, the cost is naturally a factor for any student; so how much do participants have to raise and how do they usually go about it? “There is an initial registration fee of £195, and then there are two cost options available. The lower target is £1,350, which is where you are responsible for booking your own flights, but includes everything else, apart from insurance, neccessary vaccinations and any additional money you yourself might want. The higher target is £1,750 and this one includes flights. However, the cheaper option is much better, as the flights are relatively inexpensive if you book them yourself. To raise the money, there are a minimum of two group fundraising activities throughout the year, and the rest comes from personal fundraising activities, which in the past have included doing dares or selling Krispy Kremes. Throughout the whole process though there is support provided by Childreach International and myself to ensure that you reach your target. In addition to fundraising, there will be plenty of opportunities to socialise with the team members at various socials throughout the year. “ After you’ve raised your money and made it to Morocco, you’d be wise to wonder whether there is a support system in place for the volunteers once they are out there. “Absolutely. Throughout

the entire trip, there will be 24 hour UK and international support available. On

“Big Build provides the opportunity for students to travel, meet new people and broaden their horizons” top of the two translators who work for the organisation we are supported by a building team, who ensure that everything is done to the best standard. A chef is also present to prepare meals, and I’ll be there to handle any worries or concerns that anyone in the group has.” UEA Big Build not only provides the opportunity for students to travel, meet new people and broaden their horizons but it is also a valuable extra curricular addition to any CV. At the end of the trip one can credit themselves as having demonstrated fundraising, interpersonal, organisational and teaching skills, as well as the ability to adapt to new environments. As if that wasn’t enough, you get to spend two weeks in Morocco! Don’t miss out on this great opportunity! Registration closes on Thursday 28 November.

Check out facebook.com/ UEABigBuild for more information and details on how to register.


Travel

19/11/13

Issue 289

concrete.travel@uea.ac.uk

17

24 Hours in... New York Georgia Tomlinson-Spence Travel Writer Given that it’s the city that never sleeps, it’s no surprise that spending 24 hours in New York will reveal an abundance of interesting things to do. With hostels such as the HI-New York, North America’s largest hostel conveniently located one block from Broadway, and beds in dorm rooms from $49 per night, you’ll easily find accommodation at the heart of the city. An initial must-see is the High Line, a public park built on an elevated freight rail line. It runs along Manhattan’s west side and is brimming with art, nature and incredible views. If you’re in the mood for some food and entertainment, BB Kings Blues Club and Grill, set just off Times Square, can provide Sunday brunch accompanied by the Harlem Gospel Choir. They serve up a full all-you-can-eat southern buffet including South Carolina Grits, Cinnamon Brown Sugar French Toast and Buttermilk Biscuits, more than enough to get you through the afternoon! Museums are commonplace

throughout the city, but one which is somewhat overlooked is the National Museum of the American Indian. It includes one of the most extensive collections of Native American artefacts in the world, and a great film and media section showcasing the work of Native Americans today. From the Museum of the American Indian you can cross the road into Battery Park, which holds great views of the Statue of Liberty, and walk along FDR Drive to the South Street Seaport, which has a fantastic view across the Hudson River and of the Brooklyn Bridge. South Street Seaport Pier is full of shops, places to eat and is flanked by renovated sailing ships on a fine day. If you want to see some theatre while in the city, this is also a good place to get tickets, with a TKTS Booth nearby, holding cheaper tickets to the majority of the Broadway and Off Broadway shows without the queues of Times Square. A final stop, open until midnight, is Ellen’s Stardust Diner, a retro 1950s themed restaurant with singing waiting staff. Located at 1650 Broadway and a short walk from Times Square, the diner provides classic American food served

by the talented staff hoping to make their way up the ladder and achieve their dreams of singing on Broadway. If there’s still time left in your visit then seeing New York City at night

from the Empire State Building is a wonderful sight. The building is open until 2am, and will leave you with a beautiful last impression of New York City before your time runs out.

Beside the Suffolk seaside Florrie Harris-Scott Travel Writer Southwold is the perfect winter day trip. Only an hours drive from Norwich, the quaint seaside town, described

as the ‘jewel in the crown’ of the Suffolk coast, has so much to offer. Almost an island in itself, Southwold is bound by the North Sea to the east, the river Blyth and harbour to the south and Buss Creek to the north. Thus it’s a difficult place to reach by public transport, there is only one road into the town from nearby Reydon. However, once you arrive you can go everywhere on foot. Quintessentially British, Southwold has a working lighthouse and was the location of the Battle of Sole Bay against the Dutch in 1672. In fact, the Dutch influence can be seen today in some of the buildings in the town, which feature Dutch gables. This small town is bursting with places to discover. One of the main attractions has to be the 623ft pier, built in 1900 as a landing place for steamers en route from London Bridge. Check out the Under the Pier Show with local inventions and old fashioned arcade style games. Be sure to catch the water clock on the half hour – it was made in just three weeks in 1988 from old boiler parts and sponsored by Thames Water to promote water recycling locally. Just walking the Pier’s length and reading the plaques telling the stories of people who enjoy it is a lovely way to pass the time. The colourful beach huts are a great

antidote to the potentially grey winter weather, laugh at their names and pick your favourite colour scheme with a takeaway baked potato from Buckenhams or a picnic style lunch from the Black Olive deli on the High Street for under £5. Southwold is home to the Adnams brewery where beer has been brewed for around 300 years. You can take a tour for £10 and visit the kitchen shop,

“SouthWold is described as the ‘jewel in the crown’ of the Suffolk coast” which is a treasure trove for those who love home and kitchen accessories. If you’re feeling tired of walking, it is possible to hire e-bikes for £10 from www.justebikes.co.uk. The bikes will be delivered to you directly and there is a charging station in Walberswick, making it the perfect little excursion. Take the foot ferry across the river with your bike for 90p and explore the galleries and boutiques the village has in its centre. For the history lovers there are six cannons overlooking the sea at the striking Gun Hill. During the First World War Southwold was considered

fortified and therefore became a target. Subsequently, the guns were buried, before being uncovered and buried once more during the Second World War. If you are still in need of something to do, there is a small boating lake with pedalos to hire, and a mini golf course run by a man in a shed. The High Street is also full of treasures. In short, you will never be bored in charming Southwold, and its proximity to Norwich makes it a great place to visit for the day during the winter months.

Share your travel stories and photos! Email concrete. travel@uea.ac.uk


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concrete.lifestyle@uea.ac.uk

Issue 289

19/11/13

Lifestyle

Winter romance on a budget Emily Fedorowycz Lifestyle writer Everyone likes to save a bit of money and, as students, making the most of bargains is a must. So what about when it comes to dating? Going on a cost efficient date doesn’t mean that you’re not making an effort, you’re being practical. On a student budget you need to make every penny count. Pubs can offer a merry atmosphere for the price of a couple of drinks, and with Norwich having a pub for every day of the year, you have plenty to choose from. If you go for one with a pool table, challenge your partner a to game; the loser owes the winner a song on the jukebox., or maybe the next drink. Many pubs also host live music gigs for local bands and poetry open mic nights, all usually free to attend. Going to the cinema doesn’t have to be expensive either: NUS extra holders get 25% off, and there’s the Orange Wednesdays deal giving you 2 for 1 tickets. Get around the hefty food and drinks prices by stopping off beforehand at a shop to get some reasonably priced nibbles. Every now and again, Ben and Jerry’s has a halfprice sale in the supermarkets, so keep an eye out! However, enjoying a film from the comfort of your own home can be even

better. Share each other’s DVD collections or borrow from a friend. You can even have some fun making homemade popcorn, flavouring it with something other than the usual salt and sugar: butter, chocolate, gherkins, whatever. Get creative! Plus, you can snuggle up on the sofa and enjoy getting intimate. Let your love interest pick the movie for extra bonus points; we know it won’t matter much as you’ll probably miss most of the on-screen action anyway… If you fancy something a bit more cultural, you should consider going to see a student run play. UEA’s Drama Society put on top-notch productions from as little as £5. Or, if you are both into fitness, try hiring a bike to enjoy some of Norfolk’s quaint countryside: a tandem if you’re feeling daring. However, this time of year is perfect for staying in, so why not get to know your partner a bit better and have a night of Questions. Write 20 or so things to quiz your companion on and open up some new conversation topics. You could also make each other’s favourite meals, maybe getting a bit Nigella-ish with some saucy flirting in the kitchen. As Christmas is coming up you can get crafty and make some Christmas cards ready for the family back at home. And though perhaps a little premature, sledging is also great fun and completely free. If you

don’t have a sledge, a baking tray does just as well. Until the snow however, there’s always chance for cuddles in the cold and kisses in the rain; wrap up for a romantic

stroll around the lake. Getting to know someone new doesn’t have to be expensive, after all, some of the best things in life are free.

Flickr: attilia acs

Coming out of your shell as a student Holly Wade Lifestyle writer University is probably one of the most difficult adventures in any person’s life. Moving away from your family and having to make a whole lot of new friends can be extremely daunting, whether you’re naturally extroverted or introverted. Even the most outgoing people are wrecks come moving in day. Even months or years into your experience, there are many ways to gain confidence in the university environment, whilst meeting new people and studying a subject you love. There is always a new club or society offering a new opportunity. Make sure to join societies and sports clubs that you are interested in or feel like you would want to pursue, because there’s never any point joining something that you know you will never go to, although first year is most definitely the time for experimenting. Make an effort to go to any meetings or practises that your society or club holds, that way you can make new friends and get the most out of the experience. It will certainly be worth any

money you’ve parted with. It’s never too late to join that sport you’ve always wanted to try. Living in halls can often be pretty intimidating. Try to eat your meals in the kitchen and arrange to eat at the same time as your flatmates so you can socialise together. If you don’t get on that well with your housemates why not invite some other friends round? Put effort into making friendships on your course. Suggest a

Flickr: aniruddh dube

night where you can all cook something together or order a takeaway. Don’t be afraid to interact with new people. And if you are ever feeling lonely in your room why not knock on someone’s door and see if they want to hang out for the evening? Sometimes it can be just as nice to have some time to yourself. Once a week do something just for you – watch a film in bed or go for a walk. It’ll help clear your head and make sure you are relaxing as

well as working hard. University life flies by quickly and sometimes we can all feel out of our depth with the workload or what our tutors actually want from us. Try to get the most out of your academic life by going to as many lectures and seminars as possible and go and see your tutors if you’re struggling with anything. Their help could be invaluable. And a note to any second and third years – the Literary Fellows are great for advice and honing your essay skills. Nights out are always a part of university life, but if you’re not the clubbing sort suggest to friends/flatmates that you all go to the cinema one night or have a nice evening in instead of going to yet another Saturday LCR. Coming out of your shell doesn’t mean you have to get horrendously intoxicated. We all get nervous or feel shy from time to time so remember that you’re not alone in this situation. Do whatever feels comfortable for you. Coming out of your shell at university can be a lot easier than anywhere else and there are so many ways to get involved socially, individually and academically.


Lifestyle

19/11/13

Issue 289

concrete.lifestyle@uea.ac.uk

19

A crazy night on the sofa Beth Saward Lifestyle writer It’s over halfway through the semester and having survived the panic of deadlines, you will probably want to do something to celebrate. If your bank account is starting to feel the strain of one too many nights at the LCR, here are some ideas for a cheap night in that you and your friends can enjoy. Board games are an old favourite. Who doesn’t love Monopoly with its ability to create insane tensions between even the best of friends? If you are not up for that kind of time commitment there are thousands of different games available, and you can usually pick them up for cheap at charity shops or on Amazon. Alternatively with Christmas rapidly approaching you could request some boredom busting games from Santa. Film nights at home are always a good way of saving money. If you’ve watched all the DVDs you and your friends own, a Netflix subscription is £6 a month which works out as fantastic value when split between a few people. If it’s you and your housemates, pyjamas and duvets are to be encouraged. You could combine this with a pot luck

Flickr steve vilmit dinner. The idea is that everyone cooks a dish and brings enough for everyone else. This could mean lots of main courses or you could organise it so that some people bring starters, some bring mains and some desserts. It’s a cheap alternative to going

out for dinner with your friends and you get to show off your cooking skills. If you’re a keen baker you could have a Bake-Off style competition. Agree on an amount to spend on ingredients, pick a judge who likes to eat a lot of cake and away you go. Use of the

words ‘good bake’ and ‘soggy bottom’ are of course compulsory. If your loan has been slowly drifting in the direction of Chapelfield and Castle Mall, a Swap Shop is an excellent way of getting new clothes for free. You and your friends bring along any clothes you’re not so keen on anymore or just haven’t worn for a while and you swap them. It’s as simple as that. It doesn’t have to be clothes, it works with books or video games just as well. Anyone who’s been to the Blue Bar on a Sunday night knows how intense a pub quiz can get. Holding your own quiz at home is fairly easy. Decide on a few rounds – general knowledge, music and films are always popular – and research your answers. Then all you have to do is pick a quiz master who can make sure people aren’t cheating and using their phones to Google the answers. Prizes don’t need to be flashy – a bar of chocolate can make people very competitive. Hopefully at least one of these suggestions has given you something else to do on a Saturday night than stare mournfully at your empty wallet. Given that you’ve already picked up a free copy of Concrete, you’re well on your way to saving money!

Beating the winter blues

Emily Fedorowycz Lifestyle writer Winter is nearing and the weather is turning cold and the morning skies gloomy, all while essay deadlines are beginning to spring up. It’s no wonder we find it harder to drag ourselves out from our cosy duvet cocoons. Find things to enjoy in winter. Now is the time for cosy nights in snuggling up with friends in front of a good movie; now is the time to start prepping your secret Santa presents; and now is definitely the time to bake some yummy cakes and treats to start building up a little layer of insulation! We’ve got to keep nice and toasty, right? No one will notice of course because you’ll obviously be wearing your multitude of Christmas jumpers until well into February. When the snow rolls round, make the most of the weather’s activities and get sledging with some friends. Nobody is ever too old for a good snowball fight. Plus in order to keep cheerful and beat the chill outside we’ve got to stay warm, so taking the time to dress wisely is so important. If you still feel a bit nippy, having a hot water bottle handy or a wheat bag to pop in the microwave can make a world of difference. If you’re cold

Flickr sean dunn at night, invest in an electric blanket, turning it on for five minutes before getting into bed, and you will soon be rubbing your hands together in excited

anticipation rather than simply just to warm yourselves up! Now that you’re all layered up, make sure you get outdoors. The days seem

shorter now that it’s getting darker earlier, so make the most of the daylight. Walking around campus the cool, crisp air can be really refreshing, and even mild exercise releases endorphins that give you a mood boost to help combat winter (and essay) blues. Even better, whether hidden by clouds or not, the sun will give your body its vital vitamin D boost to help keep you fighting fit in the season of sniffles and coughs. But more than anything, we have warming winter foods to look forward to. Alongside all your favourite homely dinners, there’s mulled wine and mince pies - not forgetting toasted marshmallows while we’re still in the month of fireworks and bonfires. There is plenty to be excited about. Make sure you eat well though. Good nutrition will make a massive difference to your wellbeing and mood, so try to balance out some of the more unhealthy foods with some good stuff too. Soups for example are an easy and warming way of getting some extra vegetables into your diet, and are cheap to buy or easy to make from fresh. The main thing is noticing all the things you enjoy and having a positive outlook. Break up the deadlines with things you’ll enjoy, both indoors and out, and just enjoy life!


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concrete.lifestyle@uea.ac.uk

Issue 289

19/11/13

Hearty breakfasts

Flippin’ good pancakes Anna Walker Lifestyle writer Make like Jack Johnson and have a go at these super easy Banana pancakes for an indulgent breakfast treat. These pancakes are really quick to make and perfect as a hangover cure or to beat the deadline blues. This recipe will roughly make six so go for flatmate of the year and serve up a batch to your house or have a pancake feast for one. The added banana definitely means it’s one of your five a day…right? Ingredients • 1 tablespoon caster sugar • 2 teaspoons baking powder • 125g plain flour • One pinch of salt • 220ml of milk • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil • 1 beaten egg • 2 bananas

Method 1. Put the flour, salt, baking powder and caster sugar in a large bowl and mix well 2. In a separate bowl use a fork to mash the two bananas and mix in with the oil, beaten egg and milk 3. Combine the contents of the two bowls and stir well; contents will probably still be a little lumpy 4. Melt a teaspoon of butter in a heated frying pan over a medium heat and gradually introduce the batter. These pancakes are American style so go for a small and fat shape rather than the traditional thin British pancake. 5. Cook until the pancakes are golden brown on both sides or take off the heat a little earlier if you like yours a little gooey in the middle. 6. Serve with your choice of lemon, cream, fruit, or Lifestyle’s favourite option, a healthy dollop of Nutella.

Scrambled eggs and trimmings

Flickrkatherine lim Ella Sharp Lifestyle writer Scrambled eggs are a super quick and easy way to start the day. By adding other ingredients, it takes eggs from a side dish to centre stage. We’ve gone for healthy and satisfying with mushrooms and spinach, but depending on your personal taste (and budget) you can really go to town. Cheese is great if you’re craving comfort food, and smoked salmon would work brilliantly if you want to go up market.

Flickr robyn lee

Lifestyle

Ingredients • 3 medium, free range eggs • Butter • Milk • Salt and pepper

1-2 handfuls of spinach – always add more than you think as it will wilt down 2-3 medium sized mushrooms, sliced

Method 1. Melt a knob of butter in a frying pan 2. Add the mushrooms and spinach and cook until the spinach is wilted and the mushrooms have browned 3. In a bowl, whisk the eggs and a dash of milk 4. Add the whisked eggs to the mushroom and spinach mixture 5. Stir the mixture constantly to avoid the eggs sticking to the pan; after about 2-3 minutes the eggs will still be slightly runny but cooked 6. Season to taste and serve either over toast, or alongside sausages.

The many variations of: Eggy bread Becca Godfry Lifestyle writer Eggy bread is a simple classic, so change it up a bit and try one of these variations on the eggy breakfast. Ingredients for basic eggy bread • 2 eggs • 2 slices thick white bread • Vegetable oil Method for basic eggy bread 1. Beat the eggs into a large bowl whilst heating the oil in a frying pan. 2. Cut each slice of bread in half and dip each side into the egg mixture, ensuring it’s fully covered.

3. Fry for around 2 minutes on each side, until golden brown. Variations • Mix 2tbsp caster sugar and 1tsp cinnamon on a plate and whilst it’s still hot, place one or both sides of the bread into this to coat it. • For a bigger meal or hangover cure, eggy bread can be served drizzled with maple syrup and topped with bacon. • Alternatively, while still hot, sprinkle grated cheese on the bread and top with a splash of Lea and Perrins. • To satisfy a sweet tooth, sprinkle with a few drops of vanilla essence and sugar, to be served with strawberry jam. • And of course, these can be eaten plain if you want to keep it simple.

Flickr rock_rollheart


UNION DEMOCRACY Get your voice heard

Union Council is just one way in which you can shape your university and union. Council consists of elected representatives from every club, society and course, faculty convenors, and union officers.. There are over 200 of us. In fact, we are one of the largest union councils in the country. Get involved:

• Contact your Union Councillor to bring forward a new policy, or challenge an existing one. • Find out who your Council Rep is. Visit our website at ueastudent.com, then click ‘representation’ • Join the Facebook Group: Search ‘UEA Union Council Motions and Decisions 2013/2014

AN UPDATE FROM YOUR UNION: On Thursday 7th November, with over 100 councillors in attendance, Union Council made the following key decisions. The debate was vibrant, the gavel was out, and again, students had their voices heard on a platform open to all. Find the full policies and the upcoming agenda on our website, ueastudent.com, and click the ‘representation’ tab. You can also attend this Thursday, 7pm, LT3. Referendum on banning of the song ‘Blurred Lines’ The first long awaited debate began with a motion to stop the playing of the song ‘Blurred Lines’ in Union Premises. It was proposed that the lyrics of the song promoted the normalisation of sexual violence against women. Council resolved to send the decision to a campus wide referendum, beginning with a general meeting on the 25th November where all students are invited to attend. Get involved: contact Rachel Knott at union.womens@uea. ac.uk

Better Representation Council passed a heavily amended proposal to increase the transparency and accessibility of Union Council and its decisions. Introduced as a joint project from the Communications Officer, and Councillor V. Finnan, there was agreement that whilst this work underway, the goals needed hardening. Get involved: contact Rosie Rawle at union.communications@ uea.ac.uk

Members Only Councillor S. Alston believed there had been little consultation ‘Time to Change’ pledge In an effort to end the stigma and discrimination attached to with members before the decision of ‘members only’ and mental health issues, the Time to Change pledge was passed resolved to take it to referendum. The Finance Officer presented almost unanimously. The policy calls for a Time to Change amended to reject calls to referendum, and instead to gain awareness campaign, plus better resources for Peer Support feedback from students in every other way possible. Groups. Get involved: contact Bintu Foday at union.community@uea. Partnership between the Union and UEA The Academic Officer stated that the 9k fee culture led ac.uk to students being viewed as and sometimes behaving as consumers who merely commented on what was ‘sold’ to Halal and Kosher Food on Campus Presented by our Community and Student Rights Officer, a them, rather than feeding back to shape their education. The policy was passed to investigate and introduce more Halal and policy passed almost unanimously, resolving that the University Kosher food on campus. Council agreed that food provision and Union should develop a culture of partnership and build should reflect the changing, diverse nature of the student an evidence-based approach to representation. Get involved: contact Louise Withers Green at union. body. Get involved: contact Bintu Foday at union.community@uea. academic@uea.ac.uk ac.uk

• A better full time officer structure COMING UP NEXT COUNCIL: • Amendment to Byelaw Thursday, 21st November, 8.29 on Vacancy Avertising 7pm Lecture Theatre 3 • No platform for unethical companies • Amendment to the ByeLaws - Procedural Motion to impose a Guillotine

• Amendment to the ByeLaws on Duplication of Student Groups • A New Deal for Students – supporting NUS’ campaign on voting • Sports Club in International Competition • Fossil Free UEA

• Police and security guards in Union House • Amending ‘Members Only’ policy so that Bar Staff are able and have the authority to use their own discretion • ATOS Healthcare


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concrete.sport@hotmail.co.uk

Issue 289

19/11/13

Sport

Time will tell with Irish O’Neill and Keane choice Will Temple Sports correspondent

Editor’s column Charlie Savage Sports Editor At the end of this calendar year FIFA will announce the winner of the most prestigious individual accolade world football has to offer - the Ballon d’Or. Lionel Messi created history last season in winning the prize for a fourth consecutive time, but the Argentinean will have to overcome much sterner competitors if he is to extend his run by an extra year. Most critics have earmarked Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Bayern Munich’s Frank Ribery as the front runners from the list of 23 candidates. As incredible as Bayern Munich’s squad success has been this year – winning an unprecedented treble – the Ballon d’Or is an individual award, and Ribery’s stats do not match up to that of Messi and Ronaldo. The Frenchmen’s performances were unquestionably an influential facet of Munich’s success, but so were Philip Lahm’s and Bastian Schweinsteiger’s, as Jupp Heynckes assembled one of the greatest club sides European Football has ever seen. Whilst Messi’s Barcelona is built around him without Ribery, Munich have several reinforcements who are more than capable of filling his void. Despite having world class players in abundance, neither Barcelona nor Real Madrid are anything near as threatening without their main assets. Messi and Ronaldo’s individual goalscoring exploits may never be matched, with the Portuguese scoring 62 times for club and country; this in another goaldrenched season. Living in almost any other era Ronaldo would be undoubtedly the world’s best player. Unluckily for him, and luckily for football fans around the globe, he is playing alongside Messi – who many see as the greatest player of all time. The Ballon d’Or is an award to celebrate individual success and whilst Real Madrid and Barcelona have fallen short in Europe both Messi and Ronaldo have still managed to sparkle, which is all the more impressive. FIFA always announce a list of 23 candidates, but for the past several years there have only really been two – and with their form showing no signs of dwindling the Messi vs Ronaldo debate may be a feature of every Ballon d’Or conversation for many years to come.

On the 5 November the Irish Football Association announced the appointments of fiery duo Martin O’Neill and Roy Keane as their new management team. Both men, who are highly respected throughout the footballing community, have replaced Giovanni Trappatoni, who left the post in September by mutual consent after a disappointing World Cup qualifying campaign. Although both Keane and O’Neill undoubtedly have high pedigree in the game, there is an air of scepticism surrounding the appointment; Keane’s image of rashness and a hot head proceeds him. When looking at the pair’s footballing CVs, it becomes immediately apparent as to why the Irish FA saw them as the overwhelming candidates for the job. O’Neill’s management career has spanned four decades and is littered with successes both domestically and in Europe, having won the League cup twice with Leicester City, and reached the final of what is now

the Europa League with Celtic. Whilst Keane’s managerial credentials may not be as impressive as O’Neill’s, his successes as a player are indisputable. The seven Premier League winners’ medals he amassed along with the part he played in Manchester United’s 1999 Champions League success are hard to dismiss. Although their achievements in the game are undeniable, O’Neill’s decision to turn to Keane as his assistant could been seen as questionable. On the field, Keane’s style could be described as aggressive and confrontational: attributes which have seemingly followed him into management. It was widely reported that, when at Sunderland, Keane’s strict management style contributed to the breakdown of the relationship between himself and the players. Other managers linked with the post included former boss Mick McCarthy, who, unlike Trappatoni, managed to guide Ireland to the World Cup in 2002. However, this appointment may have appeared as a regression for the Irish. The appointment of Trappatoni in 2008 represented a change in direction for Ireland, similar to the route chosen by

England in hiring Fabio Capello. The hope was that an already successful foreign manager could bring them success. Unfortunately for both nations, neither lived up to expectations. It would appear that, based on the limited choices available to the Irish FA, the reputations of both O’Neill and Keane make them seemingly obvious choices. While Keane’s nature could cause disruption in the dressing room, he is a man that possesses invaluable experience at the highest level of the game that will inspire the younger players The appointments represents a distinct move away from the Trappatoni era, but only time will tell whether it will finally bring the nation tournament success.

Netball 1s claim victory, as the 2s slip to defeat Holly Wade Sports correspondent

UEA 1s

46-27

Cambridge 1s

UEA 2s

32-35

De Montfort 1s

On the 13 November the UEA Netball 1s took on the Cambridge 1s at the Sportspark, and in the process claimed an impressive 46-27 victory. As the team headed in to their fourth match of the season, there was a sense that they were beginning to look more cohesive as a team. The performance on home soil did nothing to alter that view, as the ladies put in another terrific performance, with the UEA defence, consisting of Charlotte Moorhouse, Rachel Dean, Natasha King and Amber Parrott, all excelling. The attackers performed well throughout, with Sally Grice, Sophie Parker and Hannah Matthews consistently pushing the ball forwards to the shooters and causing the away team problems. While the Cambridge wing attack proved a tricky player to contend with, her unusual moves with the ball, although baffling the hosts, were fortunate to go unpunished by the umpire. UEA were in firm control of the first half at 22-12, and proved similarly immovable in

the next two quarters. Moorhouse produced some stunning intercepts, turning around Cambridge’s centre start for UEA’s benefit. Shooters Asha Williams, Sarah Clark and Becky Killett were on top form, with Killett moving outwards to create space as Williams proved skilled in keeping the ball from leaving the court. Their combined skills will make them a strong force to contend with for opposition this season. By the final quarter, UEA lead 34-18 and there was no chance for Cambridge to come back. The UEA defence piled on the pressure whilst the shooters caught nearly every rebound, stopping Cambridge from attaining the all-important back line throw. Despite, UEA’s domination of the final quarter, the away side found a sudden burst of determination. Cambridge claimed another nine points, but it was to little avail as UEA saw the match out 19 points clear. Williams was named both opposition’s player and coach’s player for her fantastic shooting and attacking abilities. The ladies remain top of their BUCS league and are unbeaten so far this season. Their next match will see them take on the Warwick 2s away from home tomorrow. Elsewhere in the Sportspark, the UEA 2s took on the De Montfort 1s and narrowly missed out on three points, as the visitors won 32-35. The side played well, getting off to a fantastic start with a steady shot from shooter Maddie Ewer. Goal attack Deyonte

Abbott-Lewis put in an effortlessly brilliant performance, scoring at will for the unfortunate hosts. The home side did lead the match. with wing defence Becky Borrows pushing the ball forward well and always looking to the circle to drive ahead for the ball. The ladies worked hard but were ultimately undone by the visitors from Leicester. In the final two quarters, the team trailed but were pushing even harder in an attempt to reduce the deficit and take something from the match. However, the away side held on to claim a narrow victory on the road. However, the team will have to look to the next game to claim their first three points of the season, with a trip to Nottingham Trent to come tomorrow.


Sport

19/11/13

Issue 289

concrete.sport@hotmail.co.uk

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Sports Personality awards a fitting way to celebrate Britain’s best With the BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards less than a month away, Will Medlock discusses the value of the ceremony and who may be in with a chance of winning. Will Medlock Sports correspondent Any athlete, from grassroots to the international stage, would insist that the long, arduous and often lonesome hours spent training and preparing for their chosen sport isn’t with the intention to win, quite literally, a popularity contest. There is little room for vanity at the end of a gruelling gym session, in which the morning hair style has turned into the afternoon mop of something vaguely recognisable as a look from this century. The problem is a poignant one. Athletes thrive on competition, on being half a second quicker than their opponent. Yet, it seems almost troublesome to admit that winning a personality contest would be a significant achievement. However, it is a credit to the BBC that their annual Sports Personality of the Year awards show does not feel quite so hollow. It is not merely an evening of massaging the egos of our athletes, who shouldn’t feel all that bad about failing to take advantage

of multiple break points or for coming close to winning a consistently elusive penalty shootout. Instead, it possesses the feeling of a genuine celebration of the last twelve months, for both the collective and the individual: through adversity and all the other components that make a champion a worthy victor. You could feel Andy Murray’s determination to see off Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon in a living room hundreds of miles away, let alone in the hubbub swelling on centre court on that Summer’s afternoon. The Scot put the Serb to the sword to claim his first title in SW19, confidently shaking loose the shackles that had been placed upon him by corners of the media. Chris Froome’s exquisite Tour de France ride ensured another British cyclist would be in with a shout of claiming the evening’s coveted award for the third year running. If Bradley Wiggins’ win from last year owed something to his effortlessly cool persona, perhaps Froome, a more unassuming figure, may be hard pushed to claim the evening’s top prize. Mo Farah and Christine Ohuruogu

claimed gold medals at the World Athletics Championships in August, with Farah sealing both the 5,000m and 10,000m golds as his career continued on its astonishing upward trajectory. The Somali born runner has forged a persona outside of the track through a number of television appearances, further endearing himself to the public. Ohuruogu, like Froome, has always appeared slightly more reserved when it comes to public appearances, which perhaps suggests that she may struggle to win over voters. However, AP McCoy’s success in 2010 proves one doesn’t have to necessarily do their best impersonation of a stand up comedian to win the hearts of the nation. The other categories, including Young Sports Personality and Unsung Hero, deserve acknowledgement too, with many of the athletes in contention likely to be the heroes of the next generation. It feels necessary that the stars of tomorrow, as well as of today, are made aware of the significance of their efforts and achievements. National pride can sometimes feel alien to the British, but

the continuation of the Sports Personality of the Year awards remind us that there is still plenty of substance in being proud of Great Britain.

This week’s Student Voice is with... Rugby’s Becki Edwards

Every issue, we’ll be talking to a member of a UEA sports club to ask their opinions on the most recent sporting issues. This week, we spoke to UEA Women’s Rugby’s Becki Edwards Concrete: Tampa Bays Rays have confirmed that David DeJesus has signed a new two-year deal at the baseball club worth $10.5 million. What are your thoughts on the type of money on offer in high profile sports? Becki: I understand that some individuals nowadays have negative views on the amount that is on offer in high profile sports. Personally I don’t have a problem with it, as such. Ultimately, the desire to be the best will have clubs spending extortionate amounts and this is unlikely to change in the near future, if ever. 

If you’d like to be interviewed as part of Student Voice, then email us at: concrete.sport@ hotmail.co.uk

Concrete: Hibernian striker Rowan Vine is set to face disciplinary action over comments made towards Celtic manager Neil Lennon via Twitter. Should athletes who represent a club have their tweets read by someone at the club before they can be posted? Becki: Definitely not. Twitter and other forms of social networking were created so individuals could voice their own opinions. It’s up to those individuals to think carefully about what they’re tweeting/posting. It’s not for their clubs

to monitor every tweet they make; they should have the intelligence and discretion to do that themselves. Concrete: Bernie Ecclestone remains on trial for allegedly making corrupt payments over the sale of Formula 1. Would you lose faith in the sport you were most passionate about if these sort of allegations proved to be true? Becki: I wouldn’t lose faith in the sport, more so in the individual or a particular club of which claims were made. Just because one individual has tainted their reputation, does not mean that a whole sport should be looked upon in a worse light. Those who follow Formula 1 aren’t going to stop because of these allegations. Concrete: Prior to his suspension, Miami Dolphins guard Richie Incognito reportedly held team meetings in a strip club and would mock team mates for not turning up. What are your thoughts on this type of machismo within clubs? Becki: With any group of men there’s always going to be a ‘macho attitude’ on some level. It may even be said that it

also exists in groups of females. With any group, not just sports clubs, there may be a struggle to be ‘top dog’ or just to fit in. Although there are positives to having this type of attitude, some individuals can take things too far. Any situation where a player is ‘mocking team mates’ or belittling them to an extent which makes them feel uncomfortable should not be tolerated in clubs at any level.  Concrete: Jockey AP McCoy recently claimed his 4,000th  win when Mountain Tunes came first at Towcester on the 7  November. Would you deem a horse racing legend like McCoy a legend in sport in general? Becki: Any sportsperson who’s been that successful should be deemed a legend, and probably is by supporters of that particular sport. In my opinion, I don’t think that different sports, the achievements or the two genders within them, can be compared. However, I do believe that those sportsmen and women who are competing at high levels within their chosen sport, and successfully doing so, should all be given the same recognition.


@concretesport

Concrete Sport UEA

SPORT

Issue 289 19 November 2013 Sport Student Voice

Page 23

Men’s hockey suffer Trent smash and grab Gabriel Inch Sports correspondent

UEA 1s 0 Nottingham Trent 2 The UEA Men’s 1s suffered their second successive league defeat, after failing to capitalise on a host of chances against Nottingham Trent at the Sportspark. In an open first half that saw early chances for both sides, Trent took the lead after a shot was adjudged to have crossed the line before being cleared, despite the defenders’ protests. It was perhaps the sense of injustice that spurred UEA into a period of possession and dominance. However, the play often broke down as they entered the final third of the pitch, with an extremely well organized Trent defence on form. Goalkeeper Tom Esterhuizen was called into making a couple of sharp saves to keep his side in the game, with the match was very much in the balance at half time. The second half proceeded much as the first half had finished, with UEA holding a lot of possession but failing to score, despite a flurry of short corners.

On a rare foray forwards, Trent doubled their lead. After a defensive mix up allowed the ball to roll past the centre backs and goalkeeper, a visiting forward found himself with the simplest of tap ins from close range. It was another poor goal to concede, and left most of the substantial crowd stunned into silence. However, the manner in which UEA responded highlighted the teams fighting spirit. Despite the score line not reflecting the flow of play, the hosts rallied and for the remainder of the second period the play was almost exclusively in Nottingham Trent’s half. The midfield duo of Max Baiden and Robert Turnbull began to find space to work the play wide, and Luke Corden’s runs from right half began to cause the Trent defence issues. However, UEA failed to create many clear cut chances as the space seemed to run out as they approached the opposition circle. Any shots that did make their way on target were comfortably dealt with by the Trent goalkeeper. As the game entered the final ten minutes, UEA found virtually all ten outfield players in the Trent half as they pushed hard to find a way back into the game. Joshua Glass produced some moments of excellent skill to beat defenders and win short corners,

but again these were not converted into goals. Short corners have proved important to UEA this season, with goals regularly following from their routines so far this season. However, the routines did not run smoothly on this occasion and none ever looked like troubling the visiting goalkeeper. The full time score of 2 – 0 perhaps did UEA a disservice, as the quality shown in holding possession for prolonged periods of play was indisputable. However, their season long problem of not taking their chances when presented was their downfall. Should this be adjusted, there is no reason why UEA cannot recover from a poor start and challenge for promotion. Winning the return fixture against Nottingham Trent is a very real possibility, and essential to UEA’s title challenge.

SPOTY Awards

Page 23 Netball report

Men’s 1s Forthcoming fixtures (A) Wolverhampton - 20/11/13 (A) Birmingham - 27/11/13 (A) Warwick - 04/12/13 (A) Aston - 11/12/13

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Concrete - Issue 289